Seven Things Every Patient Should Hear

Customer service is an important part of IMC clinics. We believe that every patient should be treated with courtesy and respect. When you visit us, here are seven things you can expect to hear during and after your visit.

“Welcome to our practice.”

Each and every patient is warmly welcomed with a big smile.

“What are the most important issues you would like to cover today?”

We ask each patient this question to make sure we deal with their most pressing problems.

“I believe you can do it.”

Empowering patients isn’t just about giving them responsibility to make their healthcare decisions. They also need to know that they can succeed, and they frequently look to us for that confirmation.

Often, patients are more pessimistic than they need to be. We set our patients up for success by delivering that message, and other similar ones. Many of our patients have few advocates pulling for them. Helping them to feel our support makes a big difference.

“Here’s what you can expect in the next days/weeks/months.”

Physicians diagnose many medical problems, but we have also come to realize that that is rarely the most important thing to our patients. “People just want to know when they’re going to get better.”

Patients have complicated lives to plan, just like we do. They look to us for guidance on whether they’ll be better in time for that vacation next week, or whether they’ll be able to host their family for a holiday dinner.

 “If things don’t go as you expect, or if you get worse, let me know right away.”

At IMC, we invite patients to follow up with our doctors and nurses to communicate their progress and to please not be shy if they have any questions.

“Do you think you’re depressed?”

Depression is often referred to as the “under” disease: It’s under diagnosed, underreported, and under treated. Still, up to 50 percent of depressed patients are never diagnosed, even though making the diagnosis needn’t be complicated or time-consuming. Studies show that simply asking the patient if she’s depressed may be very effective.

In practice, many common complaints, including sleeplessness, chronic pain, anxiety, and other vague illnesses can be exacerbated by depression. In many situations, treating the depression can resolve the symptoms. However, many patients would never bring up their mood because of pride or because their culture frowns on it. By asking this simple question, we can give these patients permission to discuss their feelings.

 “I care about you.”

None of our healthcare providers sees medicine as just a job, and the reason we come to work on weekends and stay up nights taking our patients’ calls is because we care about each and every one of them. At IMC, we communicate how much we care!

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