Yesterday, I asked pediatrician Dr. Jim Weidner how he handles that tension in his practice, and he shared the following suggestions with me:
- Even though you expect yourself to be perfect, your patients don’t. They understand you’re human, and that should take some of the pressure off.
- When you make a mistake, it’s good to apologize and admit it.
- Finally, when you don’t know the answer to a question, or what to do next, just say so.
Of course, following this advice is easier said than done, but it becomes easier with practice and a growing security in the gospel. When we realize that God accepts us because of what Christ did, we don’t need to obsess about how patients perceive us. Interestingly enough, when providers are not focused on how they’re coming across, they’re more able to “be with” patients, which results in better care and patient satisfaction.