At the core of any relationship is an important element: trust. But as a health care physician and advocate, maintaining a strong rapport with patients is not only beneficial for improving your quality of care, but also in allowing both parties to make informed decisions.
For Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Dr. Allen Amorn, building positive and trusting relationships with clients is the foundation for a successful practice in medicine, as it makes the patient comfortable with sharing important information, and the doctor aware of how to communicate appropriately with them.
Allen Amorn shares his best practices for building trusting relationships with his patients.
Building a Connection
Many health care physicians have a vested interest in the lives, habits, and patterns of their patients, and it can make a world of difference when it comes to treatment. Let’s face it, many patients entering a doctor’s office feel anxious, afraid and nervous, and it is your job as a health care physician to put them at ease.
Allen Amorn explains that having an interest in your patients beyond treating their condition or illness can be extremely powerful in building a lasting relationship. Allowing yourself to have a real human connection with a patient, whether it is over the latest Tarantino film, or about the first snowfall of the season, gives you an opportunity to find common ground. Maybe you both like the same TV shows, have a son or daughter the same age, or you’re both “dog people”. All of these seemingly inconsequential details strengthen the bond of trust between you and your patients. Dr. Amorn explains that this is one of the great joys of being in medicine, being able to forge new relationships and friendships in the unlikeliest of places.
Patience and Understanding
As a health care physician, you might find yourself having to explain the same things over and over again, so Dr. Amorn explains that it is important to foster and develop patience. Even when you are explaining a condition or procedure to someone who doesn’t understand, try not to be condescending, and make sure you treat them and their intelligence with respect. This can be an educational experience, as you might learn a better way to explain the procedure or condition to someone else.
Our health is a number one priority. Most doctors only spend about 15 minutes with their patients at a time, and it is crucial that they are made to feel like a priority. Dr. Allen Amorn explains that you should put your phone on silent and focus on your patient 100% during their visit. This might be one of the hardest things to do as a physician, especially when working with your last patient of the day, but being present and in the moment will build trust with your client, and can help you cultivate a sense of focus that will benefit every other area of your life.
One of the key pillars of any trusting relationship is communication. Body language is a remarkable tool of communication, which means that it is not only what you say, but how you say it. While having your arms crossed might feel comfortable, patients might feel like you are closed off. Try keeping your hands open and be sure to maintain eye contact and smile whenever it is appropriate. Dr. Amorn explains that it is useful to face your patient during their visit, which is a visual cue that you are attentive, listening, and focused.
Building a relationship of trust means being truthful with a patient, no matter what. One of the hardest parts of being a health care physician is having to deliver discouraging or bad news, but sugar-coating or skipping over the seriousness of a condition can only weaken your credibility. Both positive and negative diagnoses should not be oversimplified, so be sure to be direct with your patients at all times. Additionally, Allen Amorn explains that when delivering difficult news, to respect your patient’s autonomy. For example, if there are several treatment options available, you can present the pros and cons of each option, but you need to let your patient decide. It is important to treat your patient as a partner in the decision-making process.
Allen Amorn’s Final Thoughts
Dr. Allen Amorn has a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and healthcare industry, and explains that above all else, a health care physician needs to trust their instincts.
As innovative problem solving and team management remain cornerstones to his practice,Dr. Amorn finds joy in being able to build trusting and positive relationships with clients. Everyone is different, but if you follow your gut and remember why you became a doctor in the first place, you are sure to develop trusting relationships with your clients that can last for years to come.