Improving medical students

Greet Patients Better

Posted by medliorator on June 21, 2007

Handshakes preferred

“With the initial greeting, you can tell whether your doctor is genuinely interested,” Bari says. “You notice that first impression.”

Bari may not be the only one who prefers a more personal approach from a physician, a new study suggests. The research is published in the latest issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Gregory Makoul and his colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine surveyed more than 400 patients in 48 states… The authors reviewed 123 videotaped patient visits to see what the 19 doctors at two study sites actually did during an initial visit.

80 percent of the patients surveyed want to shake their doctor’s hand — and about half prefer that their physician use their first name during that initial encounter. “Doctors are told to greet patients appropriately, but we rarely tell them exactly what to do,” says Makoul. “The point of this study was to provide evidence to help doctors know what to do.”

the handshake may be even more important at the end of the visit. “I very much feel that a handshake after going over what we have agreed upon as a plan is like ‘making a deal,'”

Paging Dr. Friendly [ABC News – Health]


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