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A photo by Morgan Sessions.

My BFF gets anxious every morning at 9:00am.

In order to calm herself, she takes several long deep breaths and tries to relax her shoulders.

Her mantra is, “I breath in love and I exhale fear.”

My BFF is a well respected doc in a busy family medicine clinic. I’ll call her Ruth here…

Every morning at work when her hand touches the door knob of exam room #1, she feels that familiar overwhelming dread of meeting her patient on the other side of the door.

It’s not what you think.

Ruth loves her work and adores her patients… but suffers from a big problem.

Oftentimes, when Ruth greets her patients, they emotionally latch onto her and start vomiting all the details of their current life problems, without stopping to take a breath or two in between words.

These patients are anxious.

In Ruth’s mind, she repeats, “I breath in love and I exhale fear.”

My BFF does her best to set personal boundaries and reassures her patients they are safe, but… because each appointment averages just about 13.5 minutes, she has to work fast and hard.

Throughout the week, these interactions with patients take their emotional and physical toll.

Why am I sharing this story with you today?

Simple, really.

Going to the doctor is almost always a stressful experience and patients are oftentimes anxious in these settings.

And when you design a healthcare space with things like nurturing wall colors that help your patients relax or install large nature artwork on the walls of your waiting room, you help calm, restore and instill hope in patients, staff and docs, too.

Your patient-centered design and artwork elevate your patient’s perception of care, and trigger positive and spiritual emotions.

I’m a huge advocate of increasing doctor/patient time together and I also understand that it’s not always possible.

And even though my BFF would love to spend more time with her patients, a patient-centered healthcare setting would help relieve stress and improve the doctor/patient relationship.

If you can relate to the above story, then you know a patient-centered design can change your work life for the better.

If you think your office is in need of a new design, visit my design services page here: and learn more about how we can work together.

If you’re not the decision maker in your practice, encourage the person who is to take a deeper look at ways of improving the healthcare setting for everyone.

Either way, you’ll be a shero.

With love from your biggest supporter,