Try to do too much. Overbook
patients, run from clinic to clinic,
Rude to patients
Shout at staff and micromanage. Do
Waste time talking to MRs
Undisciplined and disorganised
You are the problem - which means
you are also the solution !
You need to get out of your own
way and stop hurting yourself
• Only 1 of 20 unhappy
patients bother to complain.
• Others walk out of
your clinic and
tell ten others
You are the most
valuable resource in your
You are the bottle neck
in your clinic
Problems have become worse
Smartphone - expected to be on call
Our time is not our own - doctors live
Daily wage earners
No work life balance
Say NO !
Do it now
Do it soon
Put off until later
Doesn't need to be done
You are the bottle neck in your clinic –
and the most highly paid resource
What can you get someone else to do ?
Create clear SOPs with a due date
Remember there is a learning curve – be
patient and follow up
Don’t dump your work on an assistant!
Doctoring time = doing valuable
clinical work. When you are in
flow = in the Operation Theater
Downtime = wasted time.
Time lost while waiting for meetings;
patients; and while commuting.
Reclaim this time !
Read medical journals on your
Listen to CME podcasts
Staffing issues ( insufficient, unreliable,
Emergencies (unexpected complications)
Scheduling problems (overbooking)
The heartsink patient –
long list of complaints
Like making patients wait !
Brainstorm about the ways
that time is wasted
Come up with strategies to
reduce these inefficiencies
The consultation is
free if you are
more than 60 min
Not your perception – the patient’s
Life is not always fair.Not all busy
doctors are good – and not all good
doctors are busy
No point in complaining about this.
Learn to accept reality !
Soft skills are often more important
than clinical skills
Get flak from doctor and patients
No training provided
No infrastructure for better
I. The patient is never an
Interruption - the patient is your
Everything else can wait !
II. Greet every patient with a smile.
III. Call patients by their name.
IV. For patients, all staff members
are as important as the doctor !
V. Never argue with a patient. Be a
VI. Don’t say, "I don't know.” Say “ I will
VII. The patient pays your salary - treat
him like your boss !
VIII. Choose positive words
IX. Always go the extra mile. Exceeding
patient expectations is the best way of
keeping patients happy !
X. Brighten every patient's day. This will
make your own life happier.
• Follow flowcharts for improving
• Need processes which your staff can
How to answer the phone
How to greet a new patient
How to help them fill up a form
Doctors usually create bottlenecks !
No interruptions when you are with
No phone calls during clinic hours
Return all calls at a fixed time
Intelligent phone systems for
recording all calls. Cloud based
I prefer email – no phone tag
•Reminder SMSes to reduce
•Prescribe apps to your
•Set up whatsapp groups
This does not mean that there are
no problems or that all your
patients are happy with you
The truth is that most patients
are scared to complain and will
not tell you they are unhappy to
How many of your
patients refer their friends
to you ?
“The patient will never
care how much you know,
until they know how much
you care !”
Medical training is arduous and kills our
humanity. Sleep deprivation and fatigue
means residents are overburdened
Juniors are treated badly, and they in
turn treat their patients badly
No good role models
Poor , illiterate patients are scared and
will not speak up
E - Eye contact
M - Muscles of Facial Expression
P – Posture
A - Affect
T - Tone of Voice, Touch
H - Hearing the whole person
Y - Your response
There will be slips and lapses
Master the art of service
Take ownership of the problem –
it’s your clinic !
Don’t abandon the patient !
• R = Re-establish rapport ( empathy)
• A = Agreement ( get the patient to say Yes)
• P = Problem ( define this)
• S = Solution
• A = Ask Permission ( is the patient happy
with the solution you have offered ?)
• N = Next step ( Follow up)
• D = Document
Doctor did not explain properly
Not enough time with the doctor
Unnecessary long wait time
Learn to give a second opinion
Highlight all the correct things
the earlier doctor has done
Don’t play the game of
Software – Human resources
Learn from other doctors
Treat all patients as VIPs.
Respect them !
The lifetime value of a patient