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10 New Year’s Resolutions For Doctors And Patients

#1 Doctor: Resolve to let patients speak without interruption and describe their symptoms.
Patient: Resolve to focus on the problem I am seeing the doctor about and not come with a list of 10 complaints for a 15-minute office visit.

#2 Doctor: Resolve to keep a pleasant tone of voice when answering night and weekend phone calls from the answering service, patients, or nurses.
Patient: Resolve to get my prescriptions filled during office hours, not forget my medications while traveling, and to use night and weekend phone calls for emergencies only.

#3 Doctor: Resolve to exercise a minimum of four times a week for better health.
Patient: Ditto.

#4 Doctor: Resolve to train my staff and model excellent customer service for patients.
Patient: Resolve to understand that getting an instant referral, prescription, note for jury duty, or letter to my insurance company from my doctor is not my God-given right and I will stop [complaining] if it doesn’t happen the day I request it.

#5 Doctor: Resolve to give at least one compliment a day to my office staff, child, and spouse.
Patient: Ditto.

#6 Doctor: Resolve to apologize when I am late seeing a patient who has been waiting.
Patient: Resolve to understand that when the doctor is late  another human being needed attention. It might be me in the future who needs extra time.

#7 Doctor: Resolve to do one new thing a month that is novel ( See a play? Travel? Do a special activity with a child or spouse? Learn a new computer skill? Play music? See a friend?)
Patient: Ditto.

#8 Doctor: Resolve to review all insurance payers and drop contracts that are not paying market rates for my skills and education. I will not go bankrupt.
Patient: Resolve to try and understand the medical economics that require my doctor to drop my insurance. If my doctor isn’t worth paying a little more for the visit, I will find a new doctor.

#9 Doctor: Resolve for each new prescription I write I will explain five things: The name of the medication, the reason for the medication, the side effects, how to take it, and how long to take it.
Patient: Once the doctor has prescribed a medication, I will take it as prescribed or let the doctor know right away if I am stopping it.

#10 Doctor: I will give thanks that I have a wonderful profession where I can help people in a special way.
Patient: I will not underestimate the many years of training and sacrifice my doctors have gone through and I will appreciate that they are trying their hardest to help me stay healthy.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*


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