PHYSICIANS - Preconceived Notions
My #1 goal when shadowing a physician is letting them know that I am there to help. They can easily feel like they are being monitored or reviewed or critiqued, but that is not my intent. I realize that a physician can be resistant, anxious, offended, challenged, or even encouraged to be shadowed, knowing that their communication skills are being studied. It is extremely important that I get to know the physician before I can contribute. I acknowledge every physician's plight; the pressures, the expectations, the demands, and the battle to understand a patient's satisfaction while performing the best treatment to better the patient's health. Before I can effectively give recommendations to a physician in hopes to better their experience, which in turn betters the patient's experience, I must engage with the physician to to get a sense of who they are, what makes them tick, how and where they grew up, and why they practice medicine. I can better serve the common good by asking questions and listening to each physician. I put to practice the very principles that I teach, train, and coach with. I have been fortunate enough to shadow physicians from May Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, UCSF Medical Center, Stanford Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, UCSD Medical Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, Northwest Medical Center, and Henry Ford Health System. I am so excited that I have seen improvements across the board by using this technique.
PATIENTS - Preconceived Notions
As physicians have to deal with a patient's preconceived notions regarding time, respect, being heard, efficiency, and courtesy, they can benefit from using just a few techniques, words, principles, keys, and strategies in order to satisfy most of these notions, without much, if any, additional effort or time. A lot of what I teach is how physicians can beat a patient to the punch. By staying one step ahead of the patient, there is a lot less room for confusion, emotion, and dissatisfaction, but a lot more room for comfort, clarity, and satisfaction. After having shadowed and coached over 250 physicians, and studying thousands of patients, I have been able to see these behaviors in action and the benefit both patient and physician receive. It is heart-warming when I see a physician connect with patients in a way only they can, but with the techniques that give a little more flavor to the experience.