Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

What have you learned from being a patient yourself?


Read insights from a psychiatrist, pediatrician, chemical dependency specialist, nurse, and clinical social worker.

Lifelong Learning in Clinical Excellence | April 13, 2018 | <1 min read


Margaret Chisolm, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

  1. Don’t keep your patients waiting. Their time is as valuable as yours. If you do keep them waiting, apologize profusely.
  2. Return phone calls or other communication promptly.
  3. Welcome family members or other supports’ observations, and welcome them into the treatment team, when appropriate.

Michael Crocetti, MD, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

  1. Apologize if you’re running behind.
  2. Let the patient do the talking.
  3. Be fully present during the interview—don’t let other distractions impact your ability to engage with your patient.

What do you think?

Do you want to add to the conversation? Please share!

Mike Fingerhood, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

1.) Remember, patients can hear members of the care team talking outside the room.

2.) Don’t leave patients alone in an exam room for more than a few minutes.

3.) Kindness matters.

Paula Neira, MSN, JD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

1.) Respect your patient’s time.

We’re all busy and emergencies happen. But don’t ask a patient to be 15 minutes early and then have them wait for 40 minutes for a scheduled appointment without any explanation. Their time is as valuable as yours.


2.) Talk to your patient the way you want to be talked to.

Dignity and respect go both ways. As a transgender patient, I expect you to use my correct name and pronouns as well as proper terminology.

If you’re unsure, ask.


3.) No BS.

 Admit when you don’t know something or have to look something up. As your patient, I don’t think you’re a god. Don’t act like one. I do think you are wise and learned in your practice. It shows wisdom to admit your limitations.

Jane Schindler, LCSW, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Despite working many years in the field of loss and grief, one thing I learned as a client is that when faced with my own grief, there was no accelerated path through the grief.

I thought because I had the knowledge I would have shortcuts to resolve my grief, but I did not.

My grief was as raw and as real as my clients, and I needed to not be critical of myself and where I was in my grief.