Why Bedside Manner, Matters

bedside mannerWhen you’re a doctor, sometimes training and expertise in your field aren’t enough. You could be the best of the best as far as application of medicinal technology, but still fall down in one area: bedside manner.

Bedside manner is defined as: the attitude, approach, and deportment of a doctor with patients. Bedside manner is demonstrated in the way a doctor conducts himself with his patients. It is the understanding he has and shows the people that he works with. It is how he carries himself in various situations.

Let’s take a look at an example with pediatrics. No child wants to get a shot, yet they are often necessary. A doctor who authoritatively orders the child to sit still and receive the shot is likely to upset the child as well as the parent. The child will make it more difficult when it comes time for the next appointment and may even successfully talk their parents out if it. A doctor with good bedside manner will have more success and ease in this area.

Same goes for dealing with adult patients. You may have someone in need of some weight loss. Their lack of discipline may annoy you, but scolding will not get you as far as proper communication. As the old saying goes, you get more does with honey than you do with vinegar.

Realize that while medicine is a very scientific matter, you are still dealing with people, making it partially one of the humanities as well. Proper communication and conduct are therefore a must as well. Besides, a positive attitude from both doctor and patient will only assist treatment. You wouldn’t want to be being taken away in a stretcher splint with a doctor who won’t say even a single reassuring word, would you? Manner matters.