Lots of people thank their doctor, but if you are reading this series chances are you're aiming to up your game and make your gratitude stand out from the rest.
So Doctor D is going to let you in on a little secret for how to thank your way into a doctor's heart:Everybody says thank you right after a doctor does something for them. It is the socially appropriate way to end an interaction. We even thank people that we really don't like just because it is a social norm. While there isn't anything wrong with ending a visit with a heartfelt "Thank You," it won't really stand out in a doctor's mind.
The biggest factor in gratitude magnitude has nothing to do with the thoughtfulness of a gift or the wording of a note.
The most important factor for impact of a "Thank You" is how much time has passed.
...but thanking a doc the next time you see them shows it mattered to you enough to bring it back up. When this happens Doctor D thinks "Wow, that is so nice of them to remember that from the last time I saw them!" This just makes doctors feel good.
But the real grand slam of gratitude is to express thanks many months or even years after a doc did something good for you. Most patients never do this, even if the doc totally saved their life. It's just human nature—we get caught up in the stresses of life and forget.
When out of the blue a patient writes a note or says at a visit, "Hey Doc, remember when you did this for me? I just wanted to thank you and let you know that it meant a lot to me," that patient instantly becomes Doctor D's favorite. (Extra points are awarded if the doc doesn't even recall the good thing they did for you! Your remembering guarantees your doctor will never forget you or anything about you again.)
It's just human nature, we all feel appreciated when people bring up our good qualities we've displayed in the past.As an extra bonus Doctor D will point out that delayed gratitude works with everyone in your life—not just doctors. So go out and thank some people for things they did for you long ago! You'll suddenly become the most popular person around.
Doctor D would love to hear your stories about how you surprised someone with a delayed thanks, but he's a bit bummed that his patients aren't half as cool in how they thank MDs as the readers of this blog.
Okay, enough of a pity party. Doctor D really needs to go out and thank all the people that did cool things for him years ago!