Psychiatrist to nurse: “Just say we’re very busy, don’t keep saying, ‘It’s a madhouse.’”


While in the beginning, competency was not defined as a critical component of bedside manner; it is the essence of being a truly great provider. Everyone in the health-care industry should strive to be the most competent provider around.

Creed of Competency: It is the duty of all health-care providers to be the best that they can be, to limit practice to areas of expertise and competency, and to seek quality continuing education to make sure that they remain at the leading edge of the science and art of practice. It is the obligation of every practitioner to know when to refer patients for specialty care.

Competency should be a matter of fact in all endeavors. When you fly, you expect the pilot and crew to be highly competent. Patients expect the same from their doctors. The duty of the examining and licensing boards is to make sure doctors are competent and remain competent throughout their years of practice. Unfortunately, competency is not always guaranteed. While states have made a good attempt at maintaining competency by requiring continuing education, very little is done to police the profession. As a result, there are incompetent practitioners.

Even with the lack of guaranteed competency that we know exists, the public still maintains the belief that doctors are competent. Ironically, every patient likes to believe that not only are their doctors competent, but that they are the best. Fortunately, most times they are at least correct on the former assumption.

I have known several incompetent practitioners cherished by their patients. I have seen waiting rooms filled to capacity with wait times of, literally, hours. If you told the patients that there’s a doctor next door who could see them immediately, not one of them would leave. What these doctors lacked in competency they made up in bedside manner. That’s loyalty! But that is not the type of practitioner you want to be.




The doctor tells the patient he has a bad heart. The fellow says, “I want another opinion.” The doctor says, “Okay, you’re ugly too.”


Bedside manner is an amalgamation of many factors. It is not just a great personality, a talent for humor, or an abundance of compassion. It is all those qualities and many more. It can be learned and practiced to make each and every health-care provider more likeable and successful. Just being a good healer is not enough. Bedside manner addresses the psychological aspects of patient care. In a fast-paced, impersonal world, the psyche needs healing just as much as the body.

By recognizing the importance of becoming a complete practitioner, you will make it a point to learn the techniques described and become aware of all your patients’ needs, and what they require and seek out.

Everyone should make an effort to sharpen their interpersonal skills as much as they should stay at the forefront of their field of patient care. Both qualities make the best doctors.




Dr. Fleisher was born in Arlington, Virginia and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and his D.M.D. at Temple University, Dr. Fleisher attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received his specialty training in endodontics. Dr. Fleisher has taught at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and currently teaches at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. After twenty-five years of teaching his winning formulas to many generations of practitioners at this hospital-based endodontic program, Dr. Fleisher was inducted into the Maimonides Society.

Dr. Fleisher maintained a full-time private practice that he started over thirty years ago. It has grown to become the largest endodontic practice in the state. Treating over thirty thousand patients, Dr. Fleisher has had the unique opportunity to interact with patients who, for the most part, are not happy to see him. After a few minutes that attitude changes and pretty soon Dr. Fleisher has his patients laughing during the course of root canal therapy. He boasts that while all famous comedians can make people laugh, none of them can do root canal therapy.

By developing and instituting practice management systems that go beyond the typical financial instructions and ways to get more patients, Dr. Fleisher teaches office design, employee and doctor scripts, interpersonal techniques, and compassion to help you build a practice and to make sure your patients remain loyal, are kept happy, and love you.

• Gabriela (2022/01/17 21:47)
Patients for sure associate their experience with the Doctor\'s expertise. The truth is it doesnt matter how good you are, if you dont build a good relatioship with your patient chances are patients wont be satisfied and/or refer you other patients. As healthcare providers we have the responsability to stay up to date and provide excellent care to all of our patients while creating an atmosphere that will ease the not so nice process they are here for.
• Ben (2022/01/17 19:32)
The pursuit of competence is one of the main reasons I chose to specialize in endodontics. I realized that I was not going to excel in every area of dentistry (and certainly not in endodontics) as a general dentist. I thoroughly enjoy the process of striving towards mastery in the area of dentistry I enjoy most, endodontics. It is a great privilege to be provided with the opportunity to strive for the highest level of competence. It is our duty to our patients, to ourselves, to our families and to our communities. We can have it both: clinical competence and great bedside manner.
• Craig (2022/01/17 14:21)
I worked for an owner dentist similar to what you described - although it wan\'t that he was incompetent. I think he just didn\'t care. But just like you said, he had a great personality, the patients loved him, and the waiting room was always full. I agree with what you said - that is not the kind of practitioner I want to be. My goal is to maintain my passion for excellence that has been fostered in residency throughout my entire career.
• Toni (2022/01/16 20:05)
Competency is very important and something that we have to consistently check and hold ourselves to the highest standard of care. Patients often do not know and cannot evaluate your competency, and they evaluate you instead through associated factors, such as bedside manner and how you made them feel. This is why you have to not only have great bedside manner but also consistently evaluate your own competency to be the best provider for your patients.

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