It has been said that the sound of someone’s name is the sweetest sound they ever hear. It’s also true that mispronouncing someone’s name is the most annoying.
So what if on this afternoon’s schedule you had these three patients coming in?
The schedule would look something like this:
2:00 PM Koch, Ed (former NYC Mayor)
3:00 PM Koch, Jacob (orthodontist in Lawrenceville, GA)
3:30 PM Koch, Sam (punter for the Baltimore Ravens)
That would be a hell of a schedule! But how would you pronounce their last names? “Kotch?” “Coke?” “Cook?” Turns out you would be correct if you did it in that order. But the odds are slim! Many times they will not correct you – and mispronouncing someone’s name is a horrible way to start an appointment.
We suggest spelling out each patient’s name on their record phonetically. It doesn’t have to be actual phonetics – just something simple that everyone will get correct.
For example – if your patient happens to be the one and only Dr. Louis Malcmacher, right next to the actual spelling of his name you could write “Maltz-mocker.” Or you can always do the old “rhymes with” trick if necessary.
When we are introduced before speaking at seminars, we provide the host with an introduction that clearly says at the top:
MADOW (rhymes with SHADOW)
A few months ago someone introducing us actually thought that was part of the spoken introduction and read it out loud!!
“We are excited to have with us today The Madow rhymes with shadow Brothers!”
The point is – mispronouncing a patient’s name is a no-no and should absolutely never happen. It’s easy to eliminate the situation by placing these little pronunciation hints right on the chart!