The adage “the riches are in the niches” no longer seems to hold true. (There are few approaches that haven’t become commodities anyway anymore.) And people have short attention spans. If you don’t provide a commodity, they’ll just be confused. They may not find you because they don’t know what they’re looking for, or they don’t know what they should be looking for, or they don’t know that you provide something they are looking for or could use.
“Don’t do it,” our school had said, over and over again. “Don’t treat friends and family. Refer them out. Otherwise you’re just asking for trouble.”
I understood the basic message. It could be summed up as a Boundary Issue. As in, friends and family members tend not to have any. Or at least, they’re less likely to consider them (boundaries, I mean).
Family members remember when you were in diapers, mumbling in baby talk. Friends remember when you wouldn’t share the sky-blue crayon…or perhaps they remember you drunk-dialing your ex. Either way, the dual relationships can become…awkward.
Dear patients of the world, this post series is probably going to sound pretty judgmental.
I assure you, it’s not. Falling into any one (or more) of the categories I’m about to talk about is not going to get you catalogued, reported, thrown out of an office, or barred from receiving care.
It’s just that some of the people out there present certain challenges to various types of doctors that these doctors need to be aware of, because doctors are human, too, and not knowing about these personality/history types of people can lead to serious physician burnout.
At least, not in our office. On its face, a question may appear to be a simple one. The patient asking the question might think it’s simple. But it’s probably not.
To be clear, the type of question I’m referring to are those that start with phrases such as “should I (do this or that)?”. Or, “what type of (supplement, massage, exercise, food, etc) should I choose?”