Tear Down the 'Wall of Fame' and Build Up Patient Relations

February 24, 2011

In an attempt to develop a sense of social media, I have a challenge for you and an office re-decorating tip for you this week. Take down your “Wall of Fame.”

In an attempt to develop a sense of social media, I have a challenge for you and an office re-decorating tip for you this week. Take down your “Wall of Fame.”

Take down your diplomas and plaques. Replace them with pictures and memoirs of yourself, family, friends, dog, or whatever. Put some favorite artwork on the wall. Put up some evidence of who you are as a person. These are the accomplishments that matter - the ones that make you human. Like I said recently, they tell a “story” of who you are.

The traditional “wall of fame” boasts only of your professional accomplishments. Not all your accomplishments, but just the doctor stuff: med school, internship, residency, society member plaques, etc.

They say everything about what you are, but say absolutely nothing about who you are.

By replacing these items with more personal effects, you’ll start to tell your patients, just a little bit about who you are. It allows them to connect with you and that’s what forges relationships; not sterile plaques on a wall.

Let’s try an example:
Q. What does the traditional wall say about you?
A. You are a doctor and have lots of awards, based upon the number of plaques. You must be good.

Now, suppose you hang a picture of you and your kids’ little league on the wall.
Q: What does the little league picture say about you?
A:
1. You have kids
2. You like kids
3. You probably like baseball
4. You were skinnier back then
5. You are a family person
6. You have a balance in your life
7. You believe in exercise
…and so on.

Get the idea? 

Try something similar. I have a friend who hangs model airplanes from his office ceiling. This same doc has artwork replacing some of the dreary tiles in his ceiling.

Give your patients a reason to engage with you and to connect with you. Give up the “ivory tower and great wall” approach. You’ll be surprised how many more of your patients notice you.

Next step: Try a little of the same techniques on your Web page.