How to Diagnose Physician Demeanor

January 2, 2014
Sue Jacques

Do you ever wonder if you come across as caring and compassionate or curmudgeonly? This quiz will help you ascertain how you are perceived by others.

The world has become so fast paced that we've abbreviated everything, including some of the courtesies of life. Our busy routines and increasing responsibilities make it more imperative now than ever to treat one another with respect. We simply don't have time for do-overs.

Sometimes our rush causes confusion about our rationale. Scurrying through the day without taking time to stop what we're doing and listen intently to others can irreversibly damage our personal and professional relationships.

When we become too busy to maintain a professional perspective, things can go south. Which is exactly when we tend to point fingers at everyone else, instead of looking at ourselves to ascertain what role we play in the mismanagement of the melee.

Do you ever wonder if you come across as caring and compassionate or cantankerous and curmudgeonly? This quiz will help you ascertain how you are perceived by others. Answer honestly to learn where you stand on the demeanor scale.

1. When someone offers constructive criticism of me or my work, I tend to:

a. Reply with examples of things they do poorly

b. Look for ways to get back at them

c. View it as a learning opportunity

2. When I'm running late, I:

a. Become exasperated and overwhelmed

b. Blame the person who organizes my schedule

c. Try to find solutions that will make me more efficient

3. When I need to communicate with a colleague in the same building, I will:

a. Interrupt them in the cafeteria

b. Send a rudimentary text message or e-mail

c. Ask for a moment of their time and walk down the hall to meet with them

4. When a patient comes in for one thing and then asks about three other concerns, I:

a. Shut them down and curtly inform them I don't have time

b. Sigh, leave the room, and tell my staff to deal with them

c. Let them know I hear them, and assist in making another appointment to discuss their concerns

5. When I have issues with my staff or notice disharmony amongst employees, I:

a. Ignore the problem and/or people and hope it/they will go away

b. Order my administrator to fix it

c. Gather everyone together to have an open discussion

6. When patients meet me for the first time, I make it very clear that:

a. I'm the expert and their job is to listen to everything I say

b. I'm in high demand and they're fortunate to have an appointment with me

c. I'm pleased to meet them and I'm a member of a team whose primary focus is their wellness

7. When I'm a patient, I expect:

a. To be consulted on every single detail of my medical testing and treatment plan

b. The staff to share my medical records and results with me at my command

c. That I and my family and/or advocate(s) will be involved in conversations and decision making with the primary physician and medical team

Your demeanor diagnosis:

Mostly (a) - You are a challenge. You are often abrupt, unpredictable, and frenzied. Some people are afraid of you and others talk about you behind your back, but you don't care. You are likely an excellent practitioner, yet you tend to live in a world of denial about how colleagues and patients feel about you. A prescription for CPR (compassion, patience, and respect) is in order.

Mostly (b) -You are a circumventor. Your tendency to avoid problems and be demanding is going to catch up with you. A reality check is the best therapy for you. Ask people whose opinions you respect for advice on how you can adjust your attitude. Learn to speak up and take responsibility for your role in the way things are around you, and instigate positive changes.

Mostly (c) -You are a pleasure. People appreciate your openness and enjoy working with you. Your patients and staff are loyal, and they love and value you. Even when things get tough, you are known to be calm, cool, and confident. You smile a lot, and people feel compelled to hug you. You make a great patient because you demonstrate respect for your caregivers. You epitomize TLC (tender loving care).

The impressions you make are completely up to you. The simplest way to cure a character flaw is to look at yourself in the mirror throughout the day and ask, "Would I want to be working with me right now?" If the answer isn't a resounding "Yes!" it's time to tweak your temperament.

Sue Jacques is The Civility CEO®, a veteran forensic medical investigator turned corporate civility consultant, professional speaker, and author. Sue helps individuals and businesses gain confidence, earn respect, create courteous corporate cultures, and prosper through professionalism.www.TheCivilityCEO.com