What do patients want from their doctor? We know they want us to have adequate knowledge. But most of us do. They want to know we care. So we listen and try to be understanding. Over the past few years I have been trying to improve the overall patient interaction.

Medical school is filled with lectures. Yes there is some small part of the curriculum focused on learning to interact with patients. There was a class for a few hours every other week called Physician and Patient. But that is not necessary to graduate. The main thing that lead to my M.D. was answering multiple choice questions.

But I have learned the key. I know what connects with patients the most. It is a simple thing that I put in my medical record notes. The patient’s dogs name. You may not remember the date of their colonoscopy or when they have a right total knee replacement. But if when they walk in you ask them how Sadie their bijon is they will love you forever. You are behind an hour just ask them if they have been taking Max the family pit bull for walks in the neighborhood. Hopefully if it is a pit bull it is not your neighborhood as well. Forget everything else but find a spot to list the name of the family dog. It works every time.

Unless they have cats. Then I have no advice. And the answer is 3. More than three cats officially makes you a cat lady. Even if you are a man.

Listen to your patients. They love their dogs. Often more than they love their family.

The Doc is In

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