A “thank you” card or message can go a long way to brighten someone’s day. But sometimes, we don’t know how to get a message to the recipient.
The Medical Affairs team has responded to this situation by providing a way for patients, families or staff to let a Hamilton Health Sciences doctor know the impact he or she has had in their lives.
Thank a doc on Doctors’ Day
The result is the Thanks Doc program which kicked off in 2015 with an email address. Patients sent messages to the address and it was shared with the physician on May 1, which is Doctors’ Day in Ontario.
I was surprised and touched to receive a note of thanks from my patient.
Last year, the team added to the offering by introducing thank you cards and providing boxes at each site to collect the cards. They were a hit – more than 120 notes were shared.
A special note on Doctors’ Day
“I was surprised and touched to receive a note of thanks from my patient. I felt grateful to be able to share the positive impact this had on me with her and to thank her for her kind words,” said Dr. Khrista Boylan, a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Everything about receiving the note was special for Dr. Boylan. The unexpected surprise of kindness, the personalized handwriting. But understanding her patient’s situation and circumstances at the time made the card especially touching.
“I knew that she had been going through a lot. So, I was shocked that she would’ve been in that headspace to say thanks. It was very genuine,” she said.
It made her feel really good too.
Sharing the note was also important and empowering for the patient as it gave her a much needed outlet to share her feelings.
“When we discussed the card, my patient told me that she felt she was always just receiving care. Writing a card and sharing her thanks gave her a role in her care and it was her opportunity to give back to someone else. It made her feel really good too,” said Dr. Boylan.
The Thanks Doc cards and boxes are available at all sites throughout April. The cards will be shared with our physicians on May 1. Emails and notes can be sent at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be confidentially shared with the respective physician as well.