The surest route to anger, resentment and burnout is to see patients as problems rather than opportunities.
A common "problem" is when patients don't take their health as seriously as you would like them to.
Never mind that they take their marriage more seriously than you. Or have a healthier relationship with their children than you do. Or volunteer their time and talent in community service far more than you do. Or have a deeper connection with God than you do. Or...
While it's tempting to project our values onto others, it's prideful, selfish and insults the freewill agency with each of us was given at birth.
Care, but don't care too much.
Seek to inspire without expecting obedience.
Serve with gratitude, avoiding the temptation of taking their behaviors personally.
Love, respecting their choices, even if they aren't the choices you would make.
Thankfully, it's not about you.
Bill Esteb has been a chiropractic patient and advocate since 1981. He is the creative director of Patient Media and the co-founder of Perfect Patients. He’s been a regular speaker at chiropractic gatherings since 1985. His 12 books explore the doctor/patient relationship from a patient's point of view. His chiropractic blog, in-office consultations, patient focus groups and consulting calls have helped hundreds of chiropractors around the world. Since 1999 Monday Morning Motivation has been emailed to over 10,000 subscribers each week.