Your healthcare provider plays a vital role in your health and wellness, so in acknowledgment of her efforts, we offer 9 ways to show appreciation to your doctor.

Doctors, like us, have good days and bad days, and they have personalities and social lives of their own. Their profession often requires them to sacrifice predictability in order to care for their patients.

You can show your appreciation for her sacrifice in a number of ways.

  1. Follow her advice.

Doctors appreciate patients who are involved in their own care. Given that your doctor goes to great lengths to provide sound medical advice, your decision to follow it sends a message that you appreciate her efforts.

On the other hand, patients who don’t prioritize their own health make doctors’ jobs much more difficult.

When your doctor makes recommendations for your health, make it your business to adopt her suggestions and prioritize your own wellness.

  1. Be kind to her staff.

The doctor’s staff keeps the office running and makes her job easier. They are the backbone to your provider’s operation.

Be kind to them and demonstrate your appreciation for their efforts on your behalf.

It’s worth noting that if you find yourself in need of an urgent appointment, your kindness to the staff will likely pay off because they recognize you as a patient who acknowledges their work.

  1. Write a thank-you note.

It’s not uncommon for patients to thank their doctors during the course of any kind of visit. What’s less common is for patients to write the doctor a thank-you note to acknowledge her care and assistance.

Hand-written notes survive much longer than conversations between appointments. If your doctor is having a bad day, he can return to your note for affirmation that his efforts are appreciated.

  1. Leave a review.

Businesses live and die by the Internet, so if you’re pleased with the care you’re getting from your provider, ask if you can leave her a review on Google or some other site. Share positive feedback with other prospective patients, which will benefit the patient as well as the provider.

Many people rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when choosing a physician, so your review could literally be money in your doctor’s pocket.

  1. Support a charity in her honor.

If you’re seeking a meaningful way to show appreciation to your doctor, consider donating to a charity in her name. If your doctor is passionate about caring for patients with diabetes, consider a donation to the American Diabetes Association, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or other non-profits that promote healthy living for patients with diabetes.

The donation will honor her efforts and benefit someone else along the way.

  1. Purchase a quality pen.

Doctors’ offices frequently attach flowers or plastic spoons to the end of their pens to prevent patients from stealing them, but what doctor wants a flower pen sticking out of his pocket?

Consider buying a quality pen and having his name engraved on the pen. When he writes a prescription or signs a form, he’ll be sure to think of you and be grateful for your acknowledgment.

  1. Send a gift card.

The majority of doctors are burned out, stressed out, and over-worked. While they enjoy tremendous community respect, they shoulder tremendous pressure and stress.

Consider sending a restaurant gift card to your doctor so he can enjoy a night out without cooking or cleaning up. If it’s appropriate, consider a gift card for a massage or some other beneficial service.

  1. Give a clever coffee mug.

In an era of Internet searches for medical symptoms, your doctor might appreciate a coffee mug that says, “Please do not confuse your Google search with my medical degree…”

He’ll think of you every time he drinks coffee and he’ll enjoy a laugh in the midst of a stressful day.

  1. Buy or bake treats for the doctor and his staff.

Healthcare providers often work long days, and sometimes their responsibilities interrupt their lunches and breaks. Bake cookies or other sweets to share with the people in the office.

If you aren’t much of a baker, buy cookies or other sweets at the store and deliver them to the office. The staff will appreciate the fact that you thought of them during your daily activities.

Studies have demonstrated that people in all professions respond to simple acts of recognition. Doctors, like others, appreciate the acknowledgment of their efforts and their time.

Your doctor has no doubt guided you through a stressful and difficult time in your life, and he’ll appreciate your acknowledgment of his efforts.

Your gift will affirm his effort and strengthen your relationship with him. On challenging days, he’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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Debby Montgomery Johnson, President, and CEO at BenfoComplete.