New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has advised doctors to start saying “thank you” to their patients, after a survey revealed that 40 percent patients expected their doctors to thank them.
Calling the doctor-patient interaction a major factor that influences patient satisfaction, the IMA said, the “thank you” drive would narrow the gap and mistrust between doctors and patients. “In a survey conducted by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on expectations of patients from their doctors, a paradigm shift was observed. About 40 per cent of patients expected their doctors to thank them. This is a fact that we need to accept and acknowledge,” said Dr K.K. Agarwal, national president, IMA.
“The doctor-patient interaction is a major factor that influences patient satisfaction. Remember, a satisfied patient (customer) will talk about you to 10 more people but an unsatisfied patient will talk to 100 people against you. And the easiest way to get new patients is to look after your existing patients well,” said Dr Agarwal in a statement to all doctors.
This comes in the backdrop of several attacks by relatives of patients on doctors, following which several doctors in Delhi and other parts of the country went on strikes on several occasions, demanding enhanced security in hospitals and protection from aggressive family members.
“Always meet your patients personally, greet them, shake hands with them and try to call them by name. And, at the end of the consultation, say thank you to the patient. This is courtesy. He has trusted you with his health needs. He has reposed his faith in you by selecting you to be his doctor and treat him,” said the statement.
Earlier, the Indian Medical Association had advised doctors not to have their “past, present and prospective patients” on social media friend list and consume alcohol in front of them in social gatherings.