I recently saw a brief segment of the show Dr. Phil where he was interviewing a young woman who had not yet seen a gynecologist.  Even though she had been informed of and seemed to understand all the medical reasons for going to this specialist, she avoided making her first appointment.  Her own sister tried to coach her into taking this important step for the sake of her own health and yet she resisted and would not comply.  It wasn’t until she met a gynecologist on Dr. Phil and gained a sense of “knowing” this doctor personally and becoming comfortable with a real person, that she agreed to have her first gynecological exam with this particular physician.

While I’m not a regular viewer of Dr. Phil, I was glad that I had caught the few minutes of this particular show.  It made me think about what my clients are facing many times when they see their patients for the first time in an exam room.  It also confirmed for me that patients will delay making an appointment with a doctor because of emotion – they are most likely terrified.  Helping your patients overcome this fear is key to the growth of your business. So, how is it that you can take strides in assisting your next potential patient “get to know you” and make an appointment?

  • Is your website up to date with information about you and your staff that will allow a potential patient the opportunity to gain an initial impression?
  • Does your web presence allow your patients the opportunity to tell their friends about you?
  • Do you have a “meet the doctor” time built into your initial appointments? Or do you have an occasional “open house” where a potential new patient will have a chance to meet you?
  • Do you make a point of calling or sending a note to patients that will be coming to your office for the first time?
  • Are you active in your community?  And do people see you as a “face” that cares about them outside of the office?
  • What do you and your staff do everyday to connect with the patients that you see in the office?

You became a doctor because you are passionate about caring for people and their health.  Let people get to know you and see your passion for them and you will take hold of your future.

Here is an interesting key note lecture by futurist Patrick Dixon that speaks to the future of Healthcare and connecting to your patients emotions.