In my previous post, my foray into Healthcare and the key factors during my Entrepreneurship journey was captured. In this article, I will delve deeper into the Art of Relationship Management with Doctors. It’s been a conscious strategy that has resultedin some wonderful long-lasting friendships. The initial phase of reverence was soon replaced with loads of respect for their high threshold of patience. It is also remarkable to see how well Doctors differentiate personal and professional issues on a constant basis. I truly appreciate their unstinted support through this journey.
Here are the five elements for the relationship to be effective
Consider the Healthcare Industry as a triangle with the three points connected by two way arrow line segments. The three critical groups are Doctors, Patients & Staff / Management interlinked to each other at all times. The bar of expectations naturally falls when we treat a Physician less as God and more as a Human Being. This equalizes the three groups and offers a more balanced dynamic. The rapport between the Staff and Doctors greatly enhanced when this message was reiterated during the monthly meetings.
The interpretation of The Hippocratic Oath varies. A competitive edge due to market trends spreads ethics and moral compliances across a wide bandwidth. Our policy about “No Referral Fees” ensured that only such Doctors who are comfortable with thispractice have stayed with us for the last seven years. It is always important to be upfront and candid about your core values.
Setting Targets traps the Doctors into a moral dilemma. By shifting the focus to “repeat walk-ins”, the patients are assured of not being subjected to unnecessary diagnostic and lab tests. Subsequently, it increases the time taken to listen and make the patients feel valued and respected. The Domino effect results in a huge Brand Loyalty.
Unlike their counterparts in corporate world, there is a lack of structured Annual Appraisal Process in the Doctor Fraternity. This results in living in an inflated ego bubble by the very nature of their profession. Excess of the “being wanted” feel, flared by a superior skillset is the primary reason. Failure to accept an error in diagnosis is the most frequent form of injured physician ego. They have a high opinion of their own intellectual abilities. Making them aware about their gaps and areas for improvement, while prevent puncturing a hole in their bubble is a balancing act. It is a necessary evil which should not be avoided.
As in the case of any relationship, giving importance to their personal details like showering them with birthday wishes, warmth and a having coffee together, works wonders. Be abreast with their family and kids, they love to discuss topics other than medicine.
And never ever ask them…….Where will you be in 5 years?!!
Let me conclude with a note of gratitude –
“Dear Doctor, you make a significant impact in the lives of our patients. It is people like you who make a meaningful difference in this world and inspire the rest of us to do better!”