“Hearing with Your Eyes” to Improve the Patient’s Experience and Increase Case Acceptance

You did great in school. You have excellent skills. You have a modern, equipped office. You might have even dropped a bundle on marketing.

But you still haven’t gotten the results you wanted out of your  cosmetic practice.

I’ve got some good news, and some bad news.

The bad news first, you’re a doctor.  

By definition your only intentions are to improve people’s lives.  You’re here to help.  But that’s not what the public perceives.  Stereotypes, as much as we have worked as a professional to change them, still persist and aren’t going away any time sooner.  There’s no debating it, patients might trust us, but they don’t necessarily like us.  

Reality is:  It’s better to be liked by the people who give us money than trusted any day.

Now for the good news, you can bridge that gap from where they see you to where you really are with some minor changes.

This change doesn’t require that you join the Rotary Club or the Country Club to make a whole lot of friends to be successful unless you want to.  

But you do need to warm, compassionate with your patients.  You DO care but it has to show, each and every time.  At the typical office, we have a packed schedule, busy with emergencies that have come up or procedures that run over, and just all the details of running a successful practice are a strain.

But often, we don’t give our patient our full attention THE ENTIRE APPOINTMENT.  Full attention involves looking them in the face the entire time, knee to knee and eye to eye.  

A wonderful article I read in Time Magazine about a very successful ER physician.  She was an excellent clinician, the staff loved her, and the patients adored her.  The special power this doctor possessed was actually a disability…she was deaf.

As you can imagine, she had a terrible challenge fulfilling her career ambitions.  She had grown up in the 50’s and at that time, the school district wanted her to attend a program at a special school that focused on her limitations.  But her parents were insistent that she attend public school and learn how to adapt to the world she would be living in.

In her life and her career, she only could ‘listen’ by lip reading.  Whenever she interacted with someone, she always looked them in the face.  And as she went along with her exam, she didn’t turn away from her patients’ faces because of fear that she might miss something in the conversation.

Because patients got her full attention ALL THE TIME, she related to them on another level.  She was no nicer than you and I would be, but through her actions, she made the patients feel like she really was there for them.

She was excellent at ‘hearing with her eyes’ and while a patient’s words were saying one thing, their bodies said another.  She was able to detect that to better serve her patients’ true needs.

I challenge you to ‘hear with your eyes’ with the next patient you meet and experience how your appointment goes.  You might be surprised how a little step can make a big change.