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How to Build Better Emotional Connections

with Your Patients

Are you doing everything right technically in your practice, but still feel like you’re missing something?

It could be that you’re disregarding the power of emotionally connecting with your patients.

It’s time to learn how to make that emotional connection so that your patients are more likely to come back and refer you to others. 

As health care professionals, we sometimes think that working long hours or the number of letters that come after our name is what makes us great.

However, there is much more to being a successful physician than that. How and why you do your job is what people will remember and connect with. 

Join Lisa Pezik and me as we discuss the importance of the emotional connection, and the strategies you can implement now to better serve yourself, and those around you. 

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Live Interview

Show Summary

Ask yourself honestly—do you feel like you are lacking in how you connect on an emotional level with your patients? Simply showing you care, listening intentionally, and being empathetic is what sets apart good physicians from great physicians. Doctors back in the day called this, “bedside manner” and it shouldn’t be overlooked. 


There’s no doubt that patients are more apt to return time and again, and refer you to others if they feel like you truly care and take the time to listen to their thoughts, feelings, and issues. Technical knowledge and practice can only get you so far.

Learning how to better connect with patients and employees is obtainable, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. There are key practices that you can start putting into play today, right now, and start seeing your patient relationships shift in a totally positive direction.

Below are easy, applicable ways to boost your patient connections on an emotional level:

5 Ways to Build Better Emotional Connections with Patients

1. See your patient, first and foremost, as a human 

Yes, we are trained to see their symptoms, diagnose them, and treat them, but there is a person behind the ailments. People want to connect with a doctor they trust and one who actively listens. Empathy goes a long way in making a patient feel cared for. When this takes place, it’s not just doctor to patient anymore - it’s human to human.

2. Learn to be Proactive, Not Reactive

Get to know the personalities of the patients you often work with. Even if a few of them are occasionally difficult, it’s important not to take anything personally. They’re human, but you’re human too. Meet your patients where they’re at, and operate from that higher self in order to be proactive in how you treat them, not reactive. They are there to seek an answer for their issue— their emotions or behavior have nothing to do with you. Your power lies in how you respond to them and can help their situation.  

3. Be Fully Present With Your Patients

Assuming or judging while you are having a conversation with your patient only creates issues, and biases, and does neither party any good. A patient can definitely sense if you are truly present and understanding. One thing you can do before meeting with a patient who you know is difficult is to prepare your mindset to be positive even before you walk into that exam room to give you the best chance of treating that patient the way they deserve to be treated.  

4. Learn About Your Patients Through Their Stories

Asking your patients about their lives breaks down that doctor/patient barrier and humanizes both people involved. It also helps to create a sense of trust and friendliness. They notice that you are making an effort to get to know them, and are more apt to be open, calm, and honest with you in return. Stories are the bridge to creating lasting connections with your patients

5. Be Aware of The Emotion Behind Your Brand

Who you are and how you do things are what keep people coming back. Patients aren’t impressed by your title or by how many letters are behind your last name. How you made them feel is what they remember. That is your brand emotion. Your brand emotion reaches farther than a logo or marketing campaign ever could. 

There are practical, applicable things you can do today to better connect with your patients. Recognizing them first as a human, being present and proactive with them, learning their stories, and being fully aware of your brand emotion can all help you to deepen that connection.


This article is a summary of my conversation with Lisa Pezik, RN turned marketing pro, on the Provider's Edge Podcast. Subscribe 🔔 and listen 🔊to the entire discussion now❗


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