As a physician, emotional intelligence helps you to demonstrate compassion towards your patients, patients’ caregivers, and your fellow colleagues.
Knowing when to hold the hand of an anxious mother, when to sit quietly next to a patient struggling with depression or when to challenge a child’s poor eating habits are just a few examples of a clinician’s need to develop expertise in the realm of emotional intelligence.
Discerning when to offer a word of encouragement, to share a lesson learned or just listen to a colleague who is struggling, comes from many years of developing connections with the people you encounter and live this life with.
By listening carefully and attentively, when acknowledging questions and concerns, you become more approachable and trustworthy.
Never discredit how facial expressions, body posture, and tone of voice can impact the patients you serve and the people you interact with each day.
How a caring and sincere smile can calm the anxieties of a patient and bring comfort and peace in an instant.
It is often the simplest gestures of kindness, respect, and admiration that can help build trusting relationships with patients, caregivers, and colleagues.
Be present, be authentic, be compassionate, and the people you are serving and helping will reward you with their trust.
Published research confirms that physicians who can emotionally engage with patients have better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction scores.
When a patient perceives that his/her physician cares and listens to their concerns, they are more likely to comply with medical recommendations and return for follow up visits.
Isn’t this what every physician should strive for?
It is also important to note that as the health care industry continues to shift from a fee-for-service reimbursement model to a value-based system, physician reimbursements will be tied to patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Essentially, physicians will be rewarded for the quality of care they deliver.
The proof that emotionally intelligent, engaged, compassionate treatment of patients and their families can markedly improve outcomes and satisfaction truly represents a win-win opportunity for everyone.
Walking is this way you avoid physician burnout and consistently helps you to refresh and prepare yourself for the next day of work.
Over the years, we have learned that in order to be present and to continue caring for the needs of others, we must first commit to taking care of our self.
We continue to hone an emotional intelligence based on the positive feedback and constructive criticism we receive from the people around us.
We also know that we thrive and grow best when observing and benefiting from the emotional intelligence of others.
Those who lead by example have always been an encouragement to us.
When someone tells you “You’re doing a great job.” you feel valued.
When a neighbor goes out of their way to ask you about your day, it reminds you that people still care and that you too are a person, not just a worker bee.
When you walk around your neighborhood and an older gentleman waves at you because you gently bowed your head to acknowledge his presence, you realize how appreciated you feel when someone else takes the time to “see” you.
Emotional intelligence is definitely a two-way street, although sometimes it can be a sidewalk too.