Archive for October, 2008

The “Traits of an Ideal Dr” according to a Mayo clinic study

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Interestingly, the Mayo “traits of the ideal doctor” study that’s been widely seen in the past few years,1 involved 192 patents—a smaller number of patients perhaps than your office sees in a few days. According to the Mayo survey, the seven things that patents most appreciate (with patient descriptions) in doctors are:

  • Confident: “The doctor’s confidence gives me confidence.”
  • Empathetic: “The doctor tries to understand what I am feeling & experiencing, physically and emotionally, and communicates that understanding to me.”
  • Humane: “The doctor is caring, compassionate, and kind.”
  • Personal:  “The doctor is interested in me more than just as a patient; he/she interacts with me, and remembers me as an individual.”
  • Forthright: “The doctor tells me what I need to know in plain language.”
  • Respectful: “The doctor takes my input seriously and works with me.”
  • Thorough: “The doctor is conscientious and persistent.”

So what would your patients say and how would they rank what’s most important? Perhaps you’ll ask them, but most likely their answers will be about personal interaction characteristics. A strong patient-therapist relationship is mainly fostered by “feeling” things such as:

  • Eye contact—is a basic sign of connecting, listening and caring.
  • Partnership—in a healthcare relationship is not a one-way proposition.
  • Communication—also works in two directions. Understanding needs. Understanding solutions.
  • Time—is what clinicians have little of, and what patients want from us. They do not want to feel rushed.

Rapport begins before you say hello…

The first meeting between clician and patient can be a little stiff. But—according to another study from the Archives of Internal Medicine—what most patients want is to shake hands with their therapist and have the clinician introduce themselves by first and last name.2 (“Good morning, Mr. Smith. I’m the Physical Therapist, Scott van Niekerk.”)

Other clinician characteristics of value to patients in the same survey included smiling, being friendly, being warm and respectful, and being attentive and calm.

Case acceptance is grounded in trust.

The patient trusts that the therapist has the knowledge and experience to recommend and provide the right course of treatment; they trust that the process will be safe, and they trust that the course of treatment will fulfill their needs—achieving the results that they want and expect. As John says – we need to remind them an intense moments – “You are safe”.

What’s more, satisfaction translates into a bond with the therapist and the practice, and the Voice of the Customer becomes a primary source for new patient referrals of the best sort: “Word of Mouth”!

1 Bendapudi, N. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, March 2006; vol 81: pp 338-344.