On random Fridays, clients are showered with extra affection to celebrate “Patient Appreciation Day.” I surprise the unsuspecting visitors with dark-chocolate hearts and Mylar heart-shaped balloons as they enter the office. This is in addition to the gifts many receive for meeting their health goals.
Sitting on the couch next to her balloon, treats piled high in her lap, a woman bursts out, “This is like going to Grandma’s!” Kids and adults alike enjoy the unexpected attention and gifts.
It’s especially exciting to surprise new patients, the ones who choose me at random from a preferred provider list given to them by their health insurance company. After receiving a door prize and an initial hour-long appointment, one woman exclaims, “I feel like I hit the lottery!”
Actually, I’m the one who hit the lottery. After all, I couldn’t be a doctor without such awesome patients! Here are a few of the people I appreciated and celebrated this week:
Pamela Wible, M.D. is a family physician in Eugene, Oregon. She is author of Pet Goats & Pap Smears: 101 Medical Adventures to Open Your Heart & Mind.