The AudCoachĀ Blog

To Help More Patients...Stop Educating?

Aug 18, 2023

The Power of Releasing the Outcome

When a patient comes into your clinic with a problem, your job is to guide them to a solution.

Sounds simple enough.

You're the expert after all.

The problem is, when you do what comes naturally - teaching, recommending, often ends up backfiring.

Our good faith attempts at educating and guiding towards the best solution can feel to the patient like they're being pushed into something...

...and our natural inclination when feeling pushed is to pull away.

This is why many excellent clinicians have such a hard time getting patients to move forward with treatment.

So here's a simple mindset shift that, if you can apply it, will lead to you helping more patients and operating with more integrity and alignment:

Drop your attachment to the outcome of the appointment

What does that mean, and how do I do it?

Start with a mindset of genuine curiosity and empathy.

This requires you to come in with no pre-conceptions of the appointment, but instead seek to deeply understand why the patient is there and what their fears, concerns, and uncertainties are.

For example, if a patient tells you that they've heard they can buy premium hearing aids at Costco for $2500...

The natural reaction might be to educate.

"They do have cheaper hearing aids, but they're defeatured and aren't as good as the product you would get at a private practice."


"I see people who bought hearing aids at Costco all the time, and even though the hearing aids were cheaper, they're often fit poorly and people aren't happy with them."


Why do we do this (besides habit)?

We assume that the patient has an objection, and so we're trying to address it by "educating", AKA persuading, so that they are inclined towards our solution.

Again, we don't mean for this to feel salesy and it is often done with the best intentions...

The problem is, we don't always understand their real concern AND people don't like being persuaded.

Instead, get curious. Have empathy for their perspective.

Ask open-ended questions.

"What are your thoughts about that?"


"It sounds like you've done some research. What caused you to choose to come to our practice and not Costco?"

See the difference?

Here's one that's more clinical and less product-oriented.

The teaching/persuading method:

Patient: "I don't hear as well as I used to, but I think that's pretty normal for my age".

Provider: "Hearing loss is common as we age, but just because it's common doesn't mean it should be ignored. Untreated hearing loss is correlated with other problems like increased fall risk, isolation, and even memory problems for those who are at higher risk."


Patient: "I don't hear as well as I used to, but I think that's pretty normal for my age".

Provider: "What concerns do you have about what might happen as you continue to get older and your hearing continues to decline?"

Rule of thumb (especially during discovery): No teaching, no persuading. Ask open-ended questions and rephrase what the patient just said for clarification.

Want to help more patients in your practice? Schedule a risk-free strategy session to discuss your goals and develop a plan with Brad Stewart, AuD.

Schedule My Strategy Session!
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