Friday, August 21, 2009

Why doctors should learn to ask their patients for help

I am always amazed by how poorly most doctors utilise the intelligence and creativity of their patients. While doctors will devote extra special attention to their " VIP patients" ( such as politicians and rich industrialists) in the hope of getting favours, most still seriously underestimate the wealth of knowledge locked in their "ordinary " patients.

Patients can be an excellent resource. They have skills and strengths which most doctors are unaware of - and therefore fail to tap. Just talking to your patients can open your eyes to what is happening in the world outside the four walls of your hospital. You just need to be curious and interested !

Many doctors are very hide-bound and stuck in the daily grind. By refreshing contrast, patients who work in creative fields such as advertising and marketing can help you look at your own practise with new eyes.

Similarly, most doctors are not very technologically adept. However, patients working in IT can offer all sorts of clever solutions to your daily problems, to help you improve the services you offer to your patients !

I ask my patients for help all the time. Most of them are happy to do so - and I am always pleasantly surprised by the results of their efforts ! I learn a lot thanks to them, which allows me to remain young - and they are happy that I use their help to improve the services we provide to other patients !

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