One of our favorite quotes #FORDoctors comes today from a book on CMTs Peer Recommended Physician Reading List. He writes “If you dismiss the notion of handwritten notes as a ‘nice thing but who has time for that?’ … you get in line behind the rest of the world.” ~JH., Author/Communicator
Letter From The Editor | Jul 2022
RE: The Forever Impression On My Family Led To A ‘Thank You Note Crusade’
Some of you have heard me talk about my son over the past year and our multiple encounters with Surgeons, Hospitals, ERs, Specialists, Nurses, Pediatrics and even Insurance.
I’m pleased to report that every encounter (while frightening when your amidst the fray) with all of the individuals from the above list exceeded our expectations. Even the janitorial staff in our hospital room(s) and the insurance company representatives which helped stopped the financial hemorrhage too. My wife and I appreciate every one of them for being a part of our sons story.
However, one Doctor in particular on May 18th, 2021 at 1:21pm EST left what my wife and I now call a ‘forever impression’ in our home. We recall this ‘forever impression’ now about once a week and it still brings tears to both our eyes. Yeah, sometimes we get what our youngest daughter calls ‘the weepies.’ Call us sentimental, I guess. 🙂
We call it a ‘forever impression’ because of the moment we received not just a phone call from our son’s surgeon but a handwritten note in response to our multiple visits, which he mailed to us as well … this weeks after our family trauma from 5-hours away.
He ‘forever’ set the bar high for our future Physician(s). (And don’t you know they love that. lol) 🙂 And, we were so grateful FOR him.
So the point is, I understand the idea of sending a handwritten note or even a thank you note to a colleague or to a Patient sounds “squishy”? I get it. It’s because it is. It is emotional for us. It always will be. And, that’s okay. Because on the other side of the exam room is a Patient or maybe even a colleague who needs some kindness (from someone) mailed in their direction.
We’re on a ‘Crusade for Thank You Notes From Doctors’. During the Pandemic at CMT, we asked Physicians and their staff a question. ‘HOW MANY HANDWRITTEN Notes or Personalized THANK YOU NOTES Do You Write To Your Patients Per Month?’
- 32% – “I write between 1-2 per month.”
- 14% – “Between 3-6 per month.”
- 21% – “Between 7-10 per month.”
- 11% – “Between 11-20 per month.”
- 6% – 150+ Thank You Notes/Handwritten Notes Per Month (or 4-5 notes, personally addressed per day).
- 16% – None. Zero.
“If you dismiss the notion of handwritten notes as a ‘nice thing but who has time for that?’ … you get in line behind the rest of the world.” ~JH., Author/Communicator
Why can’t you scale kindness in healthcare? Why shouldn’t Doctors be the ones to get the ball rolling? No one is stopping you from putting pen to paper. It’s so simple and it forever cements the Patient-Physician relationship and ‘bond’ between you. Five words from you mean more than fifity words about you. So don’t be afraid of what others will say or the awkward conversation you will have in the hallways or exam room weeks later when you encounter that person(s). Who cares if they ever say anything at all? That’s not even the point.
We think Doctors, more specifically, Concierge Doctors, are naturally inclined to balance the scale in this area. Gratitude is what Doctors should be known FOR. After all, ‘It’s no longer about being the best Doctor in the world anymore, it’s about being the best Doctor FOR the world, FOR your Patients and FOR your local community.’
All you and I need to do now is … START.
But hey, don’t take my word for it.
Send something to your peers and/or a patients and see how you just might leave a ‘forever impression’ in their world.
FOR YOU, FOR DOCTORS,
Concierge Medicine Today | CMT FORUM