November 27, 2021

Dear Doctors, 10 things I’d tell you over coffee.

By Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief

I love Doctors. You are in my life … and my in our family … absolute heroes! Your the backbone of our communities and nations most unappreciated asset.

If I sat down with a Doctor today for coffee (or tea) and you asked me for a few of the greatest lessons Physicians have shared about what they’ve learned in Concierge Medicine over the years, here’s what I’d probably tell you about:

  1. Give yourself a raise! (even if it’s $5/mo.)
  2. Keep better worry hours. No one makes good decisions in the wee-hours of the night once our head hits the pillow. Save those wrestling matches in your mind for daylight and working hours. Just try it … you might find you sleep better!
  3. Haters distort the numbers all the time. Remember however, they are not your primary patient audience. They misunderstand the mathematics and what you do doesn’t have to appeal to everyone, all the time. One person cannot serve all, be all and heal everyone in our communities. Stop trying to be everything for everyone and do what you do best. Keep your main thing, the main thing … and people will rally around you and love you for it.
  4. As a Concierge Doctor, you set the bar high for others to live up to. Be proud of it. Today, the bar is so low in healthcare that we have no where to go but up and better — yet no group in healthcare (save a few, of course) are willing to proudly blaze the trail and then send back maps for others to follow.
  5. If you’re unlucky enough to have a waiting room, buy comfortable chairs.
  6. Make people smile. Acknowledge people in the waiting room … even if it’s just for a moment. Crack a joke, even a bad one.
  7. Smile more. I know I said it before, but it’s an important one!
  8. Don’t be a jerk! Listen more and ask a lot of questions! (That’s like three wrapped in a bow for one!)
  9. Regular eye contact.
  10. Clean Your Pens!


Editor: “10 Tips to Build A Strong Patient/Customer Experience

RECOMMENDED READING LIST … Updated for Doctors in 2019 — Find MORE in Our CMT BOOKS and RESOURCES Section here …

At this point, we’ve probably sipped at least one cup of coffee. If we had time, I’d hope you join me for one more and here’s what I’d probably tell you!

  1. Rethink the Interior Design of Your Female Restroom.
  2. The best thing you can do as a Doctor today is write two or three Thank You notes, and tomorrow, and the next day, and every day.
  3. Managing people is hard. Make sure they know the type of care delivery environment you are striving to create. Cast your vision and monitor whether or not they’re onboard.
  4. Get out of the office. Once a quarter, try having your staff meetings elsewhere.
  5. Concierge Medicine is caring. It’s an invitation, not an expectation.
  6. Customer Service in Concierge Medicine matters, a lot! Inconsistent customer service won’t lead to better outcomes, happier patients or practice growth.
  7. The day after perfect is coming. There’s an old adage that says: “It’s hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it is harder to give up when you know it’s everything you want.”

And as we’re walking out the door to our respective offices and still excitedly brainstorming ideas … I might add one more nugget to the pile and say this … (not my idea — but actually from a patient at a Concierge medical practice …)

  1. The #1 way to create a HAPPIER staff environment in a CONCIERGE STYLE PRACTICE is: (drum roll please) ….. ONLY HAVE “ONE” PERSON TO ASSIST THE MD!!!!!!!  I will go on to say — yes, there can be a “receptionist/office manager”, but in a concierge style of practice, less is better! One person getting the patient file, another doing the blood pressure cuff, another signing you in and the Doctor managing it all? That’s a chaotic way to spend your day. A Patient changes from a traditional practice to a concierge style of practice due to the “new way of practicing” – smaller patient size, smaller number in staff!