Video Tip: Engage Patients by Expressing Empathy

Video Tip: Engage Patients by Expressing Empathy

502 322 The RealSelf Team

It’s a question that has dogged doctors since the beginning of modern medicine: What do patients really want?

Naturally, they want their doctors to be skilled practitioners, possessing both appropriate credentials (e.g., board certification) and skilled hands in the clinic or OR. But, as has been shown time and time again, today’s patients also want doctors who listen, who appreciate their concerns and who genuinely care about them.

In a word, they want empathy, which Webster’s defines as “the ability to share in another’s emotions or feelings.” That’s a tough concept to get across in a blog post or whitepaper but, in a way, it’s exactly what makes video marketing such a powerful platform. As the doctors below demonstrate, that sharing can help set the stage for a stronger, closer doctor-patient relationship:

“These are my people”

Based in Nanuet, N.Y., Heidi Waldorf, MD, comes by her empathy naturally: “These are my people,” she says of potential patients. “As a woman approaching 50, I want to look like a woman of my age but I want to look youthful and well-rested. That’s what patients come in asking for.” By demonstrating that she shares her patients’ desires and mindset, she not only does a great job siding with her viewers; she also gets viewers to side with her.

“I Am the Biggest Chicken”

While discussing V Beam laser treatments, Jerome Potozkin, MD, provides viewers with useful information on use cases, pain levels and changes in the technology but the fact that he’s had the treatment himself clearly shows he empathizes with his patients. His personal admission that he “is the biggest chicken” is exactly the kind of relatable and trust-building persona you want to have as a doctor on video.

“Be the person you want to be”

St. Louis-based dermatological surgeon Dee Anna Glaser does several great things in this video — putting the viewer (and potential patient) at ease with a quick statistic of how common the topic is, for example — but what she does best is empathize with them. She doesn’t just talk about treatment options; instead, she demonstrates her understanding of patients’ emotions behind wanting to have the procedure done, which makes her feel very approachable and understanding to the viewers.

Doctor Takeaway

Video provides an excellent “Return on Empathy

Three different doctors, three different subjects, yet they all demonstrate a common theme: Empathy. Instead of drily discussing treatment options, Waldorf, Potozkin and Glaser let viewers know that they “get it,” oftentimes because they share the same issues and concerns. Video allows them to address viewers’ underlying concerns, which not only humanizes their practices but sets the stage for turning today’s viewers into tomorrow’s patients.