Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Practice Makes Perfect--May 27, 2008

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Stay clean

Recently at a friend’s house for dinner, he and his wife complained about the vile breath of their pediatrician. At first, we all laughed, but thinking about it later on the way home, I wondered how many times clients had thought my breath foul. For some reason we all think that it can’t be us. That we can never offend. Oh, how I wish that were true!

When was the last time you had your teeth cleaned or laundered your lab coat? Do you see clients after working out without showering? Do you still wash your hands every time between patients? At the end of the day, we must all ask ourselves some hard questions. And at the end of a busy practice day, I think that we know what the answers are. Certainly, we can be dirty, we can smell, our breath can be bad after a lunch of onion rings, the blood of a previous procedure can be on our clothes. We must listen to ourselves, we must judge our condition much more strictly than we judge the hygiene of others. We must pay attention. No one gets a free pass, least of all ourselves.

How are you seeing clients? Smart, professionally, in clean clothes? You don’t need to sport a designer wardrobe, but even with modest attire, you can always be clean. For most of us, perception is reality. You can be the most gifted doctor in your practice, but if you turn off the clients with their first whiff of bean dip, corn chips, and French onion soup, it makes little difference. Don’t let it be you. Wear clean, presentable clothes. Oh yeah, and get a hobby.

Until next time, Kev