first last

How Can You Build Quick Rapport with Patients?

Calvin Chou, MD; Professor, UCSF School of Medicine

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate how to greet a patient with authentic delight.
  • Demonstrate how to build rapport with a patient by decreasing space.

Description: From business connections to friendships to romantic encounters, first impressions significantly influence relationships. And that includes relationships in health care. 

In this short video from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, Dr. Calvin Chou discusses and displays best practices when connecting with a patient and family at the beginning of an appointment. Dr. Chou shares that effective first encounters include a warm, authentic greeting; a display of interest in the patient as a person; and an upfront conversation, to elicit patient concerns.

For more information on improving health care communication skills, visit The American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH). Video produced by Click to Play Media and AACH.

Discussion Questions1:

  1. What challenges can lead to poor communication at the beginning of patient-provider encounters? What do you think the consequences of this early poor communication can be?
  2. Think about the last time you were on either side of a patient-provider encounter. What were the introduction and the first few moments of the appointment like? 
  3. Who are some communication role models you have noticed? What about their communication style do you admire?
  4. Dr. Chou talks about decreasing the likelihood of getting a “doorknob question.” What is a doorknob question, and why would you want to avoid one?
  5. Besides the strategies Dr. Chou mentioned, can you think of other examples of effective behaviors for building rapport at the beginning of a patient encounter?
1 Please keep patient privacy in mind.
Average Content Rating
(1 user)
Please login to rate or comment on this content.
User Comments