One of my favorite things this time of year is the summer reading lists that pop up everywhere. I like to peruse them for my children, though they seldom listen to my recommendations and tend to stray off in their own directions. But mostly I love to find treasures for myself. I imagine myself reclining on a beach or in a hammock while I read them. In reality I will probably be tucked away in the air conditioning for most of the Texas summer, but a girl can dream. Either way, I always make more time to read in the summer, and browsing the book lists is a favorite past time.
But here’s the thing. I don’t accept a book rec from just anyone. I like to choose books that people I respect have read. I am more confident in the quality that way.
Here’s the point in all this: You are that respected person for your patients. Your blog or website is a perfect place to recommend reading for your patients. Following you will find a few reasons to consider creating a recommended summer reading list for your patients.
It helps them get to know you.
The books a person reads tell a lot about them. This is a great way to let your patients get to know you without sharing overtly personal information.
It will help ease the relationship with your patients.
When a patient comes into your office and brings up a book you recommended, that is a tremendous ice breaker. It will make conversation easier and break down barriers to communicaton. A conversaton about a book is so much better than small talk!
It allows you to guide your patients on important topics.
Sharing a book list is a great way to educate patients. There are plenty of books that do a good job addressing controversies in medicine, healthcare policy issues, and the doctor-patient relationship. You probably don’t want to compose an entire list of these types of books. However, a couple could go a long way toward educating your patients about everything that goes into good medical care.
A few books for you.
I couldn’t write this post if I didn’t have a couple of books to share with you, now could I?
Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physician’s Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine
The title analogy is used to describe the difficulty of finding a tumor on a mammogram, and it is an apt analogy for all of the uncertainty in medicine. This is a great book for doctors and patients alike to read. It will bring common understanding about the limitations of technology and testing. If you like it, you might even share it on your reading list with your patients!
If you’re a big fan of evidence like I am, this is a must read. It will take you down the rabbit trails of statistical reasoning. The anecdotes are interesting and meaningful, and they highlight the importance of understanding the data. Not a PhD level read, it’s still a fun read.
If you want some recommendations for books to read to improve the way you use the internet or the written word to reach your patients, check out our resources page. We share our favorites with you there.