I think my favorite doctors would say:
1. Look at the patient when you speak, no matter how many relatives are there.
2. Talk with the patient, not about the patient. Example: Her scar looks good is talking about her. She wants to hear Your scar looks good.
3. The only exceptions to 1 and 2 are if the patient is in a coma or unconscious.
4. Talk with the patient like a friend.
5. Patients deserve respect. Even popular auto mechanics talk to the customer after operating on the car.
6. Some diagnoses and diseases are overwhelming for people of any age or intelligence. The patient may not be able to think what to ask until later. Talk on the phone, at least for 20 seconds. Even a great nurse or staff member may not always repeat exactly what the patient asked, or your answer.
7. Try to avoid initials and unnecessary long words.
8. Patients don't sue doctors they like. Really.
9. Even if you're training a nurse, take at least a minute alone with the patient.
10. If other doctors or practices aren't sending you necessary info, let the patient know you're stepping across the hall to call and straighten it out. It reassures the patient and shows you're taking care of him.
To all the good doctors in the world, I wish you respect from us, the patients.