What Patients Remember

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO September 19, 2014

A very nice 85-year-old patient recently came in for a medical follow-up visit. Despite a history that included both glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, she was not good about follow up…but, on this occasion she had returned right on schedule!

So, I said to her, "You are here right on time. How come?"

With a big smile on her face, she responded, "My knitting. The last time I was here we talked about the scarf I was knitting. I wanted to show it to you—all finished."

To clarify, I did not remember the knitting project. I do remember explaining in great detail her medical condition and my recommendations for care. Thank goodness, we must have also talked about knitting.

She needed medical care, but she followed my recommendations because she wanted to show me her scarf!

As I See It, we can't overemphasize the importance of truly connecting with our patients. The quality of care certainly increases as patients sense their doctor's personal interest in them.

It was a beautiful scarf!

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