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The other day after working with a client in San Francisco I drove by an old-fashioned fruit stand that looked like this:


And instantly I felt warm and fuzzy inside.

Why would an old-fashioned urban street fruit stand give me an instant shot of happy?

Simple psychology.

The scene took me right back to hanging out with my Grandma as a kid and growing up in the city.

It made me feel connected to something bigger than myself.

What does this have to do with creating a patient-centered design in your practice?

Again, simple psychology.

When you create an experience that everyone can identify with, you win your patients over instantly. 

For example, when the walls of your waiting room in Manhattan are flanked with large photographs of Central Park–the heart of the city–your patients will at once feel like they belong.


After all, Central Park is a cultural destination for so many of the city’s residents.

People walk their dogs, meet up with friends, go on dates, ride bikes and restore in this beautiful place on a regular basis.

And that sense of belonging relaxes the nervous system and reduces anxiety.

It’s kind of like offering your patients a free massage while they wait for you in your office, except in this way, the massage works on the brain.

This one act of intentional design is like hiring a personal assistant to help welcome and calm your patients when they get to your space.

And your ROI (return on investment) keeps working over and over again.

So tell me: What images of a place in your town or city might you hang on the walls of your waiting room that would make your patients feel like they belong?

I’d love to know.

Yours in Health,



P.S. Feeling overwhelmed about what design project to tackle next? I’ve gotcha covered. Check out my Pinterest boards for some free design love. Or click on the pretty photo below.

Central Park Photo Credit: Unsplash