I’m a family physician in Eugene, Oregon—a sweet town where folks are pretty darn friendly. I still do house calls. Patients often surprise me with gifts. And nearly every appointment ends with a hug.
Kindness is contagious.
I like to return the favor. So every few weeks I celebrate “patient appreciation day.” I thank patients with balloons and chocolates. Why? For picking me as their doctor, of course. I figure I’d be pretty bored without any patients.
Patients are then inspired to share their appreciation with other doctors. What a great idea!
Physicians have a high rate of depression—and even suicide. Doctors treasure the cards and gifts they’ve received from patients over the years. Several docs have claimed that something as simple as a thank-you card has made their day—even saved their lives. Seriously.
Being thankful is good for your health. I keep a stash of thank-you cards with me so I’m always prepared. As a physician, I’ve learned that the best way to deliver health care is to care. In fact, I just delivered a keynote on the importance of caring to top health care leaders.
In St. Louis.
Thanks to my pilots.
P.S. The pilot wanted to know if I was going to be the one giving the massage. Nope.
Pamela Wible., M.D., is the founder of the ideal medical care movement. To learn more about ideal care, watch her TEDx talk “How to get naked with your doctor.” Photo credits: Doctor office by Pamela Wible and GeVe. Anesthesiologist and pilots by Shutterstock.