Tuesday, October 06, 2009

How patients provide feedback

I was listening to a very articulate patient complain about how unfriendly and uncommunicative her earlier IVF specialist was. While listening, I was wondering why she was telling me. Wouldn't it have been more constructive to tell her doctor, so he could improve his bedside manner ?

When I asked her why she did not provide this feedback to her earlier doctor, she said - Because he does not listen !

And it's because he did not provide her with the common courtesy of listening that she gave him the most negative feedback she possibly could - she walked out of his clinic !

If doctors don't listen, patients will not speak up. We need to encourage patients to tell us when we are doing a good job - and equally, when we aren't, so can improve our communication skills !

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