As we explore what patients want, #6 is perhaps the most important.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
— Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
Empathy. It is the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from their point of view, rather than from your own. It sounds soft, but in the “disconnected” world in which we all live and work, practicing empathy is actually quite strategic.
Empathy is about connection. At its heart, empathy is NOT about YOU. It is about THEM. And THEM can be your patients, your referral sources, your staff/each other — anyone upon whom you are dependent for success. By truly seeing their views and living out those values through your interactions, you are connecting, you are differentiating from your competitors, and you are re-humanizing your practice.
It is hard work, and it is a cultural shift. But it is an important one and can be a game-changer for your practice.