I was watching TV this past weekend when a commercial for another latest-and-greatest drug came on. Have you ever noticed that on TV a doctor's office always looks something like this?
Neat and beautiful, with framed diplomas on the wall. The TV doc is always in a crisp white coat, which matches his (and it usually is a man) distinguished white hair. He peers out earnestly from behind his desk, comforting his nervous patient who sits before him (sometimes with adoring, anxious spouse).
But in real life...well, not so much. Of course, no one is ever going to mistake me for a distinguished genteelly graying gentleman. As a matter of fact, I once had a patient walk out of my office because I "look too young." Here's my desk:
Shoved against a wall, no room for patients to sit in awe before me...I'm clearly doing something wrong.
No diplomas on my wall! Instead, we're featuring portraits.
Looks just like me, right?
No sedate, distinguished globe and pen holder for me! Instead we have this:
The true essentials- lots of lip balm, hand cream, dental floss, and silly putty. I know what's important to have at hand.
Wanna know where my diploma is?
It's crammed into a corner in the home office, on the floor next to the dog crate. That's actually a step up for it- up until a few weeks ago it was in a closet in the basement. Maybe one of these days I'll actually get around to hanging it up.
But maybe not. I'm in no rush. Because it's not about appearances and outward trappings. The fancy desk doesn't mean a thing. I have to earn the respect and trust of my patients, because they deserve nothing less.