The Most Important Thing Doctors Should Do With Patients

Yves SchoofPrivate Practice

The ABC news website published an interesting article for doctors a few weeks ago – read it HERE.

The summary of the article is basically this:

‘If you can’t communicate as a doctor, you are not a good doctor’.

Of course, having excellent clinical skills and experience is absolutely critical, but patients expect so much more these days, and rightly so.

Being able to communicate well with your patients has numerous benefits: they will feel more comfortable, are less likely to make a complaint and it is arguably also better for business.

There are plenty of online forums these days where patients will happily rate their doctor (including on their bedside manner), either good or bad. How does that affect your reputation and your ability to attract new patients?

In today’s competitive environment, you want to make sure you build a good relationship with your patients, which all starts with being able to have a conversation.

Unfortunately, just like there is a lack of business and finance education for doctors, there is no formal communication training for doctors. How do you deliver bad news? How do you create rapport with your patients?

More and more healthcare organisations are realising that there is a deficiency in doctor-patient communication and are turning to role playing and other training to bridge this gap.

One such organisation delivering this type of training in Perth is InterACT WA. Janine de Muinck, founder of InterACT WA, has the following to say on this topic:

“Communication with patients in today’s healthcare is increasingly complex and more important than ever. Whether focused on disclosure of medical error, prenatal diagnoses or ethical quandaries arising from the ability to sustain life: today’s Healthcare professionals face difficult conversations more and more as part of their day to day patient care.

Therefor I am thrilled to see that more and more Health Care Organisations and Medical Schools are working with role play actors to simulate patients and family members in training workshops. Because actors, also known as ‘simulated patients’, allow caregivers to EXPERIENCE these difficult situations as real life as it can get. In the debriefing the role play actors help the participants reflect on and understand what truly happened in a conversation. Without risking relationships or reputation.’

You can read her blog on this topic HERE.

So, how would you rate your communication skills as a doctor? Would you like to learn more in a non-threatening environment?

Then you may want to contact Janine on 0487 693 349 or interactwa@outlook.com.

Alternatively, if you would like to express your interest in attending a workshop we will be organising on this topic and other private practice topics early 2018, please email me at Yves@affluenceprivate.com.au.

Yves Schoof
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Yves Schoof

Author | Specialist Adviser for Medical Specialists and Surgeons at Affluence Private Wealth
I specialise in managing and coordinating the financial affairs of medical professionals and have been recognised as one of the best financial planners in Australia. I am a Certified Financial Planner and member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.

As I understand your time is extremely valuable and scarce, I am able to offer flexible meetings times, including outside business hours and during the weekend. I can even come and meet you somewhere convenient, or talk via videoconference on Skype.

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Please contact me on yves@affluenceprivate.com.au or call me direct on 0432 885 295. You can follow me on Twitter @YvesSchoof or connect with me on LinkedIn to receive new articles.

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