Want to date your doctor first?

The US healthcare system is definitely not something other countries are rushing to model but amidst all the politics some hospitals are trying alternative methods to engage patients in their community. Enter Doc Shop, speed dating at a Texas hospital.


 

In New York, artists have been able to use their craft as currency for medicines and care but the latest buzz is centered on Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital's  Doc Shops, referred to as "speed dating" to make patient-doctor connections according to the program's creator Mandy Forbus, senior marketing specialist for the Texas Health, in a YouTube clip. 

The 30-minute Doc Shop's afford patients free five-minute interval meet-greets with potential doctors specializing in gynecology/obstetrics, pediatrics and primary care.

Clever because these are the doctors that will be part of you and your family's life for a long time. Making the right connection can impact your health and well-being. In February, Damien G. Finniss, M.Sc.Med, lead researcher at the Pain Management and Research Institute, University of Sydney in Australia, found a patient’s ability to trust their physician greatly impacted their natural ability to get better independent of a treatment, thus extending placebos beyond sugar pills. Finniss told the AFP, "our research reveals that placebo effects can occur in routine medical practice across a wide range of medical conditions - and these effects can be therapeutically powerful."

It's unclear if Forbus has created a new trend but the model would be worth replicating as doctors aren't always known for their excellent bedside manner and consultations can get costly. Speed dating has crossed over to business networking in South America, hedge fund investing in Asia, why not healthcare in the US?

For the Doc Shop, reservations are required and the free event includes a lunch (not sure if it includes green jello) and valet parking. Upcoming sessions will take place June 15 and Aug 10 for those in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Texas area. For more information, go to: http://www.texashealth.org/body.cfm?id=3371

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