How Doctors Can Better Connect With Their Patients


Due to a lack of time or understanding, it can be challenging for doctors to have a connection with their patients. This can cause patients to be intimidated by the professional or fail to ask certain questions that can improve their health. Fortunately, there are a few effective ways for doctors to better connect with their patients to maintain lasting relationships.

doctor patient

Improve Communication

Communication is key to strengthening any type of relationship and is crucial for doctors to connect better with their patients. Experts suggest that doctors can improve communication just by looking in their patients’ eyes and listening carefully to what they have to say without interrupting them with each interaction. This will make it easier for the patient to remain honest and establish trust with the professional, which will allow them to obtain the outcome that they deserve.

You also want to inform the patient of all of their options with how they receive treatment, which can help them to trust you more and know that they’re respected.

Offer Empathy

Although doctors are not trained therapists, they still need to offer a bit of empathy when patients come to them with discomfort or frustration with issues that they may have with their health. It can be easy to research the symptoms on the Internet or rush the meeting due to a long list of other patients that must be seen that day, but the doctor can reduce the patients’ need for them if they take the time to listen and provide a higher level of care with the first appointment.

Many doctors also make the mistake of being unwelcoming, which can cause patients to have higher stress levels and not feel comfortable when they’re seen. Focus on putting the patient at ease and showing them that you care for their well-being. You can also having more extensive use of care teams in your office to help the patient avoid feeling at the mercy of the staff.

Slow Down

The less time that is spent with patients, the more difficult it is to connect with them with each visit. The average doctor’s visit in the U.S. is now less than 15 minutes. Slow down during the appointment and take the time to get to know each person, which will make it easier to remember who they are and become more familiar with their medical history. Put yourself in the head of the patient and avoid making assumptions too quickly. You can also rely on using multiple technology platforms with mobile devices and tablets to improve the efficiency of the appointment without spending less time with the individual. This will allow you to utilize patient engagement systems that help you to understand their needs more during their hospital visit.

Repeat the Information

Studies show that 80 percent of the information that patients communicate to their physicians is often forgotten after a few minutes and half of the information is misunderstood. Make it a point to repeat the information that was communicated to you before ending the appointment to ensure that you have all of the facts right and can provide the best form of treatment. You also want to listen more and talk less during the appointment to ensure that you’re understanding everything correctly.

Although more doctors are strained on time, it’s possible to improve the connection that is made with each patient during hospital visits and appointments. By utilizing the right tools and practicing new habits, you can establish a stronger level of trust and make it easier to meet their health needs due to a higher level of communication that is established.

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

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