Patient and doctor speaking

5 Steps to Improve Doctor-Patient Relationship

Many people choose to pursue the medical profession because of the genuine desire to help others. It is indeed a noble profession. Doctors, whether working in a hospital, franchising a health care center, or running their clinic, save people’s lives every day.

Every good doctor would know that the key to being successful in their profession is to have a good relationship with their patients. Only then would they be able to accurately diagnose the sickness and gain the trust of their patients so they can do their jobs effectively.

Studies show that 50 percent of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases do not take their medicine. And the common reason is a poor relationship with their doctor. It may be that they don’t trust their doctors or lack confidence in them.

A good doctor-patient relationship will foster a better quality of health care. Here are some tips on how you can improve your relationship with your patients.

Listen attentively

Any patient would appreciate it if their doctor listens to them carefully. It shows that you are prioritizing them, and you genuinely want to help. Listen and acknowledge the patient as he or she tells the stories of their illnesses.

The use of nonverbal communication is also essential. Things like maintaining eye contact, head nodding, and other signs of acknowledgment are effective in developing a positive relationship. It gives the patient a sense of comfort, trust, and security.


As a doctor, you have to remember that it might be a difficult time for your patient. They’re worried about their health and struggling to go on with their daily routines without feeling pain or discomfort. Some might have a hard time discussing their sickness or being open about their symptoms.

So your top priority should be to empathize with your patient. That means letting them know you understand how they feel, but also remaining positive and becoming a solid rock for them in their time of need.


Most likely, the patient came to see you because they have no idea what their symptoms mean and don’t know what medications to take. For this, they need expert advice. After all, searching for symptoms online is not always accurate.

Your job, as a doctor, is to educate your patient. Tell them about the illness, its symptoms, how they got it, the cure, etc. This will increase their trust and confidence in you, as it displays your competence and desire to help. Make sure to use understandable language and avoid technical terms.


A visit to a doctor should always be a relief. Whether or not a patient was diagnosed with an illness or not, it’s comforting to hear the reassurance given by the doctor. Always give your patients the right diagnosis and reassure them that they’re going to get better.

However, be wary of giving false hope. Be honest with your patients and tell them everything they need to know. But at the same time, give them the steps you’re going to take and how it will help heal them.

Engage your entire team

Group of doctors in discussion

The doctor-patient relationship goes beyond just the behavior of the doctor. The environment as the whole will play a role in the satisfaction of a patient. So everyone has to do their part and work as a team in building relationships.

This includes the nurses, physicians, cashiers, assistants — everyone who forms part of the medical staff. Invest in training sessions that will improve relationship building and communication skills.

Fostering and maintaining a good relationship with your patients is the key to providing quality health care. Make the extra effort of ensuring you build a valuable relationship with every patient you encounter.

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