What’s on your doc’s wall?

I’m not a fan of institutional decorating. Who is, really? Those muted mauve or mint green tones, framed paintings of anonymous landscapes or flowers, carpet with flecks and speckles to hide the dirt. In a perfect world, my office would have funky architectural elements with sleek and modern decor. But does it really matter to patients? As long as an office isn’t in shambles, do you notice the decorating?

I mention this because when I started my job, I brought in a poster for each of my exam rooms to replace whatever had been hanging there for the last decade. One is a large framed embroidery from a friend’s trip to Central America. I love it for the bright colors and also because my friend, a family physician, is truly a healer and seeing that piece of artwork reminds me of her fabulous outlook on life.

The other poster is a crazy, fun picture I’ve had forever and could spend hours trying to decipher. I highly recommend checking out the artist’s site.

Funny thing is, almost nobody notices these. Once every few months someone notices the Proverbidioms poster, usually to say, “That’s really odd!” This week a toddler was enthralled with it. I think he’s got good taste!

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3 responses to “What’s on your doc’s wall?

  1. I notice my PCP’s walls, but don’t think my rheumatologist has anything other than bulletin boards in her exam rooms. I’ll have to look closer next time I’m there.

  2. I’m sure the toddler was enthralled by the poster, and I wish pediatricians would take note of that! I would have loved some artwork like that in exam rooms when my daughter was younger – a wealth of “I Spy” material. We usually had to work with the clothes we were wearing and….pale blue. Germy books or magazines with torn pages, tired permanent murals we have seen a thousand times, photos of children (please, it’s a pediatric practice with a plenty of the real, live thing!)……we want posters, colorful posters in plexi frames that can be cleaned, intriguing images that are replaced or rotated throughout the year, so if you are unfortunate enough to have to be a frequent visitor at least you have something fresh to look at while you wait.

    And when you remodel, choose the laminate for the counters first and then select the rest of your color palette. So many of the newer offices make a beautiful impression until you are jarred by an unmatched electric blue or yellow-gold counter that must have been the “closest” available to the rest of the color scheme. Yes, I notice the decorating!

  3. This particular toddler’s parents notice the decorations… we being huge fans of real art, as opposed to the institutional variety. But I must admit that we only rarely mention anything about it – I think that most patients have other, more pressing issues to mention, and are used to having relatively little face time with their physicians. Which, I admit, doesn’t explain why I’ve never said anything to you in particular, knowing perfectly well we’ll have plenty of face time.

    I also like the velvet Elvis card. 🙂

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