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Are You What Your Patients Want?

The role of a doctor in everyday lives is considerable. The trust and professionalism that people have and expect goes without saying.  But are there other factors that make you, the GP, more appealing?

Are you what your patients want?

Don’t look away. I promise this won’t hurt a bit…

Image credit: NEC-Medical-137

Ultra Care

What makes a GP wanted and revered can be a complicated thing, but maybe not as much as we think.

A holistic approach to health care is becoming more prevalent.

Patients seek communication during a consultation for a number of reasons. A consultation concerning a headache may end up being a life changing, stress management regime.

Many see comfort in a regular practitioner. One who knows their complaints and can work together with a plan for ongoing better health. Others seek guidance and certainty when faced with a one-off worrying ailment.

Doctors also need to be happy to deal with those patients who are not at all concerned with which GP they see, or how long they spend in the practice.

Being all things to all people certainly has its challenges, but it’s not out of reach.

Word of Mouth

Something quite undervalued is the role that others play in the success of our professional lives.

Medical care is no exception.

The age-old hopes of a doctor with a great bedside manner are not as faded as some may assume. GPs who have the ability to wrangle a guarded elderly patient in one consult and then delight an apprehensive baby in another, will soon see positive perceptions grow rather rapidly.


GPs today face the proposition of mixed billing. There are pros and cons to medical centres and individual practices offering bulk-billing services to the elderly and for children, but not for the working individual.

Within the decision lies the risk of alienating those who believe health care should not be an out of pocket expense for everyday people, regardless of age or socioeconomic status.

First Impressions

Do first impressions count when seeking a GP?

Yes. Now more than ever.

Consider what your patients may look for. Putting yourself in the place of a recipient of medical treatment will open any GP up to a better insight.

Environment is key. Clean, light, with the possibility of parking availability are all important considerations for a medical practice.

Residents always seek out family friendly practices in suburban areas, with an area for children inviting for parents with unwell infants.

These kinds of things will attract and keep patients coming back.

Entertainment will likely take minds off waiting times. No dancing clowns are needed, just simply a television. A big one.

Speaking of time. There is some debate about not displaying a clock in a medical practice, due to people becoming too fixated on waiting room times. The decision not to have a clock in the waiting room as a psychological deterrent may be a bit of an insult.

Seriously, people know what time it is.

Value Add

Consider any value added services that you can provide. After hours, doctors are very popular with the elderly and a GP who provides a home service can develop stronger relationships with those in the community with greater needs.

Can you imagine every scenario? Probably not, but if a GP has an insight into what people look for, the stresses and  growing pains of opening and sustaining a practice may be lessened.

Continued Professional Development

Surely, it does not all end by attaining a goal of a well-known and respected community GP.

The advantages on a personal and professional level may be obvious, but the benefit to your patients a little less known.

Involvement in local community or other worthwhile events gives rise to confidence and a greater respect among the people.


All in all, can you be everything to everyone? If you could, one may call you superman.

It’s about seeing what you can do for the patients that you are trying to attract and be that point of difference between the average doctor and the one down the road.

Does it have to cost a lot of money?  Not at all.


Patients expectations may continue to grow but by making the slightest of changes to the way the patients are seen in the practice or the services that are offered can make the world of difference.

Everyone is different, but patients all share a common denominator – a need for respectful, quality healthcare where they are the focus. Even if it is only for ten minutes.

Moreover, if you prove worthy, they’ll take two aspirin and call you in the morning.


About The Author

With an MBA specialising in finance and a Diploma in Practice Management, Ami is a driven and affable recruitment consultant recruiting in Healthcare, Medical and Allied Health.

Follow Ami on LinkedIn

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