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How to write thank-you notes to doctors

Updated April 13, 2018

Few things are scarier than dealing with a medical situation. Whether it's a first checkup, a new baby, an emergency room visit or surgery, how you are treated by medical staff makes all the difference between a positive experience and others not so pleasant. Sending a thank-you note to your doctor is more than good etiquette; it's a simple and gracious way to express your appreciation. It does not have be formal or elaborate, and you don't have to be a poet to say what's in your heart. If you follow a few simple steps, you will not only brighten your doctor's day but may also help inspire him to keep up the level of excellent care he provided you.

Start your letter by reminding the doctor of what he did to earn your appreciation--for example, "Thank you so much for stitching the gash on my son's arm so painlessly."

Compliment the doctor on something specific he did during the course of treatment. You might say, for example, "Your gentleness and sense of humour helped ease my son's fear of getting stitches."

Acknowledge the team supporting the doctor, if appropriate: "The warm and caring triage nurse set the tone for our whole emergency room stay with her calmness and consideration."

End your thank-you note with an upbeat and confident comment on the future, such as "Every time we happen to notice the small scar on my son's arm, we will remember your kindness, skill and good humour."

Tip

Remind the doctor of exactly who you are and how, when and where you or your loved one was treated; it is simply not possible for doctors to remember every single patient by name.

Warning

Do not expect a reply to your note; it is not traditional to thank someone for a thank-you note.

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About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.