People are hard to please, and you know this all to well if you work in the medical field. But if you’re a physician, there are some really shocking and specific things that may be affecting the way patients perceive your practice… as if your job wasn’t hard enough.
Here are 4 unexpected ways in which patients may be silently judging you and your practice:
1. Do you have a clean appearance? And no, we don’t mean have you showered today! You’d be shocked at the amount of patients that judge physicians down to the last little detail. Here are just a few things some of your patients might judged, that you might have never thought about before:
- If you’re a man, are you clean-shaven, or at the very least, is your facial hair groomed and maintained?
- Are your teeth clean, straight and free of any obvious discoloration?
- What are you wearing? Whether or not you choose to wear a jacket, what you’re wearing underneath can tell patients a lot about who you are as a person (or at least they think it can). Seriously?! Who knew patients were harder to impress than a blind date, but psychology agrees that the way you look affects how people view you and how you view yourself.
2. How long is your wait time? Do your patients regularly hangout in the waiting room well passed their scheduled appointment? Well, despite the fact that you may be very busy, many people see this as disrespectful, and it’s easy to see why. Have you ever been to an appointment where the doctor, dentist, or whoever, kept you waiting so long that it feels like they don’t value your time, or at the very least, value their own time more? Keeping your patients waiting in the examination room typically has the same effect; if a patient’s appointment was at 11:00 am, and they are in the exam room by 11:05 am, but you don’t get their until 11:20, you’re still technically late.
In this situation, physicians and patients need to meet in the middle. Not many physicians ever let this issue get too out of hand, but it can be minimized by not over booking yourself, or trying to squeeze in last minute appointments. On the hand, some patients need to understand that sometimes last minute appointments are necessary for someone’s well being, not to mention doctors are just very busy people.
3. How do you treat your nurses or assistants? Those in the medical field know that it takes every single person present, whether nurse, physician, administration or anyone else, to make a medical facility run smoothly and properly. Although to your patients, who may think that a nurse is lower than a physician on the totem pole, it’s important for them to see you treat your co-workers with the utmost respect. If physicians weren’t treating nurses equally and with respect, why would they treat their patients with respect? Not to mention, mutual respect can help patients gain trust and feel more connected to a physician.
4. What does your office look life? Are your walls too bare? Are the too colorful? For example, these 7 wall paint colors can really affect your mood, and we want patients to be calm and content. Are the chairs comfortable? Is the waiting room clean? Does it have toys for children (if your practice sees kids)? And the list goes on and on. It’s important for physicians to decorate their offices in a friendly, yet professional manner. If you’re having doubts about how patients perceive your waiting room and the rest of your medical office, look up tips on how to properly furnish and decorate the area!