con·nect (from dictionary.com)
verb (used with object)
1.to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind: to connect the two cities by a bridge; Communication satellites connect the local stations into a network.
2.to establish communication between; put in communication:Operator, will you please connect me with Mr. Jones?
To connect with your patients is truly the key solution.
Connect takes on two meanings:
- Establish a relationship; develop, dig, pursue
- Maintain via all the tools now available: email, texting, Facebook, blog, etc.
When you connect, you really need to do so on many levels.
90% of what we do as physicians is about connecting with our patients; 10% involves the science. Why is it that we spend most of our time focused on the 10%?
If we are unable to connect with our patients, then it will not matter what prescriptions we write or supplements we recommend. Most of us pay this no attention. We go into the exam room and out again in a matter of minutes with prescriptions already printed.
Patients sense this disconnect and we are beginning to sense this too. Let’s face it, we live in the digital age where we have the opportunity to connect deeply with our patients in our exam rooms and then spread and broaden those connections using the modern digital world of Facebook, YouTube, blogging, etc.
Patients certainly don’t have time to wait to make an appointment with us to ask their questions. They want to be able to connect and interact with us right now.
This is only the beginning. Medicine is stuck in the mindset that the science must prevail, when in reality, it is the art of medicine that we need now more than ever.
We are stuck in the industrial age mindset where the doctor sets the rules and patients obey (just like workers obeyed the factory owners of yesteryear). There is so much potential for ourselves and our patients if we stop focusing solely on new guidelines and pay more attention to how we are connecting and interacting with our patients.
The humanity of medicine is getting thrown under the bus for our desire to find the next new drug or best new surgical technique. What we really need is to look back and slow down: medicine has always been rooted in the connection between doctor and patient. The more we focus on establishing deep connections with our patients, the better the patient and we will feel. It truly is a win-win.
Let us not be fooled into thinking that the future of medicine resides solely in the pharmaceutical. Rather, the future of medicine will be based upon how well we interact and engage our patients.
How are you connecting to your patients?
Craig Koniver practices integrative medicine and consults with physicians at The New Rules of Medicine.
Submit a guest post and be heard on social media’s leading physician voice.