brand logo

Fam Pract Manag. 1999;6(3):11

To the Editor:

It appears that the January cover illustration was intended to depict a typical family practice front office, but something important is missing: Not one of the three staffers is making eye contact with anyone.

The receptionist is focusing on the paper in front of her while a patient puts a note in the suggestion box nearby. Ideally, she should be thanking him for taking the time to give the practice some constructive feedback. At least she should look up and acknowledge his presence.

The woman in the foreground is doing some one-on-one patient education, but her focus is on the table instead of the patient. She should be trying to make the patient feel comfortable.

Finally, the three women have their backs to each other. This makes teamwork difficult. What happens if the telephone must be answered while one of them is talking on another line and the other one is responding to an urgent call from nature?

Editor's note:

Dr. Gillette's points are well-taken, but in defense of our imaginary practice, we should point out that it does at least show a box for patient input, someone who takes time to do patient education and perhaps even, judging from one of the computer screens, someone who is in e-mail contact with patients.


Send your comments to Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.

Continue Reading

More in FPM

Copyright © 1999 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.