Dear Doctors, ‘Please don’t go radio silent on us. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Your outlook on the future energizes us whether you realize it or not. Don’t take your foot off the pedal. We don’t want to get used to doing life without you.’
By Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief, Concierge Medicine Today, #FORDOCTORS Advocate and Host, The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast
Today I want to talk about two themes.
Hopefulness and Helpfulness.
Jon Acuff, a best selling author and speaker writes “You might feel isolated from people right now, but you’re only ever as isolated from your mentors as you allow yourself to be. If you want to grow during this challenging season, add one new mentor to your life. Read a new book. Listen to a new podcast. Follow a new Instagram account.”
I love that approach.
Sure, it’s not for everyone, but as we know from our Physician readers, it’s FOR someone.
In essence, Always keep growing. Always keep learning. Always keep moving forward.
However, last week I heard something that bothered me, a lot.
One source we spoke to last week said “We’re hearing from some people that their Doctor has been completely, one hundred percent, disturbingly silent during this Pandemic.”
That should make you angry.
It shocked me.
How is this possible?
It should wake those of us up to the reality that your Patients need you right now. And, if you’re not communicating at all with them during one of the most serious times in our global history, you should expect those Patients to leave your practice in the coming months.
I would. The source we talked to last week said they would too!
If you’re in Concierge Medicine, Virtual Private Care, Direct Primary Care (DPC), etc., or the like, this is a head-turning statement. These business models are setting an example for others in healthcare. People, Patients, your peers, they are watching and learning from you whether you realize it or not.
So when we hear things like this, it should stir you to take action.
“People are in a state of hibernation or captivity right now,” says one Physician we also talked to earlier last week. “We [eg their Doctor] should be connecting with our Patients regularly. Even if it’s as simple as a blog update and our own professional thoughts and perceptions on what’s happening in our local State and community … we need to maintain that connection. We have a responsibility. I’m busy, sure, but what’s urgent will get our attention. And for me, communicating through my social media pages and blog that I know my patients read and rely on is urgent for me. My captive audience is digesting a lot of incorrect information. I know this because of the questions they’re asking me or texting me. They’re disconnected from good medical insight and they’re worried. We should be their north star.”
So back to our two themes.
Hopefulness and Helpfulness.
DEFINITION hopeful [hohp-fuhl] adj. optimistic, expectant | adj. promising, auspicious
DEFINITION helpfulness [help-fuhl] | noun. assistance
How Can Doctors Be Hopeful?
Stay informed. Stay optimistic.
Acuff also said, “The real win was what that crisis taught. That crisis taught me how to get up at 5AM. That crisis taught me that I could accomplish amazing things … That crisis taught me I was capable of more than I know.”
We look, as your Patient, to our Doctor for answers. You’re always there. But now, in this time of crisis, you’re silent?
“Isolation is deflating,” says one mother of three we talked to in Suwanee, GA. “There’s no good news it feels like when I turn to social media. It’d be nice to know that someone [eg our Doctor] pops up in my feed and says there’s a reason to be hopeful. Even if it’s just a joke. We need to smile but instead we’re holding back tears. We want to know our Doctor is working on our behalf [eg his/her patients] and looking forward to a brighter future.”
Only you know what your patients need in your community from you right now. Find a creative way to be “Hopeful”.
How Can Doctors Be Helpful?
Two weeks ago our local Atlanta news and popular weather and traffic station here in Atlanta at 5pm EST (just one hour before the statewide “Shelter In Place” Order went into effect for Georgia) released a news story on their web site along with a video for all Georgians on “What Georgians need to know about the shelter-in-place order.“
At 5:07pm EST I texted it to my Doctor and within the same minute, he replied “Thanks. I just shared on my FB page.”
That’s what we’re looking for. That’s one way Doctors can be “Helpful.”
Please don’t go radio silent on us. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Your outlook on the future energizes us whether you realize it or not.
I’ll conclude with another statement from Acuff. “There’s no denying there’s a crisis, but I don’t want you to miss this chance to learn. I think a year from now, if you’ll pay attention, you could be saying, “You know, I wouldn’t be doing this thing I really love but then the Coronavirus forced me to change a few things in my life and I’m so glad it did.”
The world is going to look a little different in the weeks, months and years ahead.
We need you as our North Star in our future. Please stay connected with us. 🙂
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