- Greater patient compliance.
It takes us 23 years of minimum training to be a doctor (shortest residency is 3 years.) However, we quickly realized that we could do our best as docs, but don’t get good results if patients don’t comply with our recommendations.
Good bedside manners increases patient compliance. As we partner with our patients, and work towards the common goal of their health and quality of life, patients fare much better.
- Greater patient satisfaction.
As US healthcare move towards publicizing patient satisfaction and adjusting reimbursement for medical services based on patient scoring their doctors, bedside manners are a must to keep the door of hospitals and clinics open.
- Better quality and quantifiable results of health outcome.
When physicians demonstrate confidence, integrity, and compassion, patients are more likely to bestow the sacred trust of their lives and health in the doctor’s hands.
Lifestyles changes are frequently the best intervention, medical treatment, yet the hardest, it behooves as doctors to become personal life coaches to our patients, to guide them and cheer them on as they work hard to maximize their health and quality of life.
- Fewer lawsuits.
If everyone practice medicine the way Dr. Gregory House on popular TV series “House M.D.”, we would be sued out of our houses and homes.
While I have worked with bankers, brokers, salesman with zero beside manners, doctors are held with a nearly unattainable level of high professional expectations in terms our ability to empathize with the most difficult patients in spite of we ourselves are stressed and pressed in all fronts: physical, financial, to emotional.
But hey, we choose this, we could have easily become CEO’s of fortune 500 companies (given our work ethics and smarts), we choose to serve instead.
- Happier and more effective physician.
While it takes energy to ward off negativity, it takes even more energy to project emotional toxicity. When a patient is difficult, rude, or unkind, the best thing do is to respond with amiability, politeness, and kindness. Stop the negative cycle with your wonderful bedside manners to all, to patients, colleagues, nurses, and everyone on the health care delivery team.
Reflecting negativity with positivity, darkness with light, hatred with love will ultimately make us happier ourselves.
As challenging or nearly inhumane it is to practice bedside manners when perhaps the world does not reciprocate, we have chosen this path to serve, so why not serve with love, rather than fear or hate?
Remember, most people who are not doctors or healthcare providers will never understand what’s demanded of us on a day to day, moment to moment basis, but we can support one another along this path of great resistance, this path that’s less traveled but so rewarding.
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