I had the pleasure of having annual exams with two doctors this past Friday and wow what a contrast in experiences! I don’t know about you, but it is always a little odd for me to be the one getting the exam instead of giving it.
First, I went to my ophthalmologist’s office. The nurse who took me back to the exam room never introduced herself or gave me any run-down about what to expect. Her part of the exam was uneventful, and then I waited to see the doctor.
I have been going to this ophthalmologist for a few years, but since I see him only once a year, I expected him to introduce himself- but he did not. Actually, I am not 100% of his name so we will call him Dr. X.
Dr. X. did his exam and during the exam he asked me if my eyes had been bothering me. I told him a little but did not think much of it. The next thing I knew, he told me I had inflammation in both eyes, I would need to pick up some drops at the pharmacy, and he would need to see me on Monday for a recheck appointment.
Interestingly, Dr. X did not explain what was going on (keratitis) nor what he thought was the cause. He also did not explain anything about the medication. I had no idea what I was going to be putting into my eyes until I googled it after I left his office.
Later that day, I had my yearly appointment with my OB-GYN- Dr. H. The nurse, who brought me back, introduced herself, explained what they would be doing and had time for small talk too.
I was at ease by the time I made it back to see Dr. H. Dr. H took me to his office first to see how I had been doing and to see if there was anything I needed from him. Then he asked me how my dog’s surgery went last year. Yes, this doctor, who I had not seen in over a year, asked me how my dog’s surgery went- unbelievable!
During my exam, Dr. H seemed to be listening to my heart for a longer time than usual and I was starting to get a little concerned. Once he finished, he asked me if I ran. Because my heart rate was so slow, he had to listen for a long time to make sure all was within normal limits. Thankfully, the rest of the exam proceeded uneventfully.
Today my eyes feel a lot better, and I certainly don’t doubt my ophthalmologist ‘s competence as a doctor- he did a great job with that, but he and his nurse really dropped the ball when it came to the bedside manner. Because of my experience in his office, I would not go out of my way to recommend him to someone else.
There was absolutely nothing positively memorable about my interactions with anyone in their office.
I did have a positively memorable experience at my OB-GYN’s office. He, of course, is a competent doctor but his bedside manner showed me that he knows who I am, and he cares about me as his patient. I am sure he makes all his patients feel this way. I would recommend Dr. H to anyone who needs a great doctor, and I actually do all the time!
Are you and your staff creating positively memorable experiences or is everyone just doing their job?