Please give me eye contact!

It what seems obvious findings, patients prefer their doctors to be engaging in conversation, and to ignore any online screens.
As electronic medical records become more common, it’s not unusual for doctors to enter data into a computer as they talk with their patients.
Doctors seeing patients for the first time, when trying to build a relationship, need more face-to-face communication.
These findings come out of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Research Centre in Houston.

“Everyone wants to feel that their doctor’s care when faced with an illness, or even during routine examinations”

“We all want to know that our story is being heard, that we are not a number or diagnostic entity, but a whole person seeking assistance of another whole person.”

How do we relate to this in our interactions with our patients or our customers?

An extra bit of eye contact, a precious thirty seconds of time with an older person, a smile when eye contact is made…….these small acts of engagement cost nothing, but make an enormous difference to how we are perceived as a health practitioner.

Many of us work in a commercial environment. That gives us hundreds of opportunities in our patient dealings to make a difference to their quality of life in many, many instances.

That’s what excites me about complementary medicines.
What do you offer when a hypertensive patient is puzzled at his or her fluctuating blood pressure?
Or the person with diabetes who, no matter what is medically initiated, can’t retrieve accepted blood sugar levels?
Or the person undergoing chemotherapy and being challenged with neuropathic pain?
Or the arthritic patient who is backed into a corner of (not clinically relevant) high dose paracetamol because of comorbidities?

I had the privilege of speaking at the Complementary Medicines Australia Annual Conference last week. Exciting new developments in this area will make a real difference to our patients.

You won’t read about it in the paper.
That realm is left to “new, exciting and breakthrough” (clinically proven words for a new drug press release) drugs that are ten years away from human clinical trials.

Get involved, be relevant in the space and look people in the eye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *