Clinical Tip: At office visits, don't forget the personal touch

June 1, 2005

At each patient visit, I try to write a social comment about the child on the inside of the back cover of the chart-the family pet's name, what the child would like to be when he or she grows up, that the child went to space camp over the summer, or anything else of marked personal interest. The next time I see the patient, these notes help me remember to ask, "How was that trip to space camp?" or "How's your dog Lucky?" It really is great to see the expression in the child's (and parents') eyes when you remember details like these.

At each patient visit, I try to write a social comment about the child on the inside of the back cover of the chart-the family pet's name, what the child would like to be when he or she grows up, that the child went to space camp over the summer, or anything else of marked personal interest. The next time I see the patient, these notes help me remember to ask, "How was that trip to space camp?" or "How's your dog Lucky?" It really is great to see the expression in the child's (and parents') eyes when you remember details like these.

Andrew A. Rzepka, MDMinneapolis, Minn.

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