Doctors work hard to make their patients feel comfortable. They take a lead role during the hardest parts of our lives, like illness or injury. While nobody wants to be under the care of a doctor in an emergency, we’re thankful for their passion, care, and understanding. A good doctor makes these stressful situations a little less scary.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Think About Timing
- Step 1: Brainstorm to Organize Your Thoughts
- Step 2: Start with a Greeting
- Step 3: Be Specific in Your Thanks
- Step 4: Share an Update
- Step 5: Close Your Note
- Step 6: Consider a Gift
- Sample Thank You Notes to Your Doctor
If you’ve experienced the care of a kind, hardworking doctor, saying thank you is a great way to show your gratitude. One way to do this is with a thoughtful thank you note. While doctors know their work is essential, they rarely get the recognition they deserve from patients. Taking a bit of time to think of the right words for a note goes a long way.
Here’s how to write a thank you note to your doctor with examples. Follow along to create something truly special.
Think About Timing
Before we begin, think about the timing of your thank you note to your doctor. It’s best to say thank you as soon as you receive quality care, but sometimes life gets in the way. When we’re dealing with health issues and emergencies, it’s understandable to forget about saying “thank you” to those helping along the way.
However, do your best to send your thank-you note within a month of your surgery, office visit, or baby delivery. The sooner, the better. Either way, note there is no time limit or deadline on these messages. Even if you wait weeks (or even months), your doctor will surely welcome your note.
Step 1: Brainstorm to Organize Your Thoughts
It’s normal to feel a bit intimidated when writing a thank you note. How do you find the right words to say, especially when the doctor played such a significant role in your recovery? It might seem challenging to sum up your entire gratitude into a short note. You don’t want to write a novel, but you also want to highlight their fantastic work.
To collect your thoughts, start with a brainstorming session. Write down a few ideas about what this doctor means to you. Let these questions below guide your thinking:
- In what way did this doctor impact you?
- How did this doctor help you feel better?
- How do you feel now?
- Are you able to do things now that you weren’t before (e.g. surgery recovery, etc.)?
- How was this doctor’s demeanor or personality comforting?
Step 2: Start with a Greeting
The simplest place to start is the greeting. This doesn’t have to be formal, so don’t get too tied up in making sure you’re greeting them “correctly.” There’s no single way that’s the best. Common greetings for thank you notes are:
- Hi, Dr. [Name],
- Hello, Dr. [Name],
- Dear Dr. [Name]
Always address them by their last name unless they gave you permission to use their first name. For example, if their name is Dr. Kevin Smith, you would write “Hi, Dr. Smith” as your greeting.
If there are several doctors you’re thanking, use all of their names. To address a team of doctors, you could also include the name of the department (e.g. Cardiology team).
Step 3: Be Specific in Your Thanks
Now it’s time to dive into your thank you message. For this part, it’s best to be specific. The more you can say about how they helped you, the better. You don’t have to go on for sentences, but you should be clear about how they impacted your life. Some ideas are:
- Thank you for ensuring my surgery was a success.
- Thank you for helping diagnose my illness. It’s such a relief to have someone take my pain seriously.
- Thank you for your calm demeanor and thoughtful words. They brought light to a very dark situation.
- Thank you and your staff for staying in positive spirits. Your outlook inspired me to work harder in physical therapy.
Remember that doctors have many patients. Be specific with the date as well as the type of assistance they provided to ensure they remember you. Again, be as specific as possible.
Step 4: Share an Update
Doctors are invested in their patients’ recovery. They want to know that you’re not only feeling better but that you’re living life to its fullest. If you feel comfortable, share an update about your progress with your doctor.
This is especially impactful if you haven’t been in touch with them for a while or if you’re under a new healthcare provider’s care. Some examples might be:
- After my surgery, I’m finally feeling well enough to start running again.
- I haven’t felt any pain since my diagnosis. It’s made a huge difference in my daily life!
- Because of your kindness, I’m planning on starting a career in medicine after I graduate high school.
- Your diagnosis made me feel heard. I’m now connecting with others in my situation, and it’s brought me much relief.
Step 5: Close Your Note
Finally, end your note with a final thank you. You’ll also want to sign your name. Again, be specific with who you are. Your doctor might work with several patients at once, and it might be difficult to place your name without other identifying information.
Dating your letter and sharing your experience with them is a great way to ensure they place the patient with the name. Don’t overthink your closing. Short and sweet is usually best, so include any of the following:
- Many thanks,
- Thank you again,
- Best regards,
- Kind regards,
Step 6: Consider a Gift
If you feel especially close with this doctor, you might also include a gift with your thank you card. This is completely optional, and no doctor ever expects gifts from patients. However, they’re still welcome. You don’t have to spend a lot on gifts for doctors.
It’s really the thought that counts. Some common ways to say thank you with your card include:
- A book gift card or one of these healthcare books
- A coffee gift card
- A food gift card (restaurant or delivery)
- Baked goods
- A photo of yourself (particularly if you’ve had a big recovery)
Sample Thank You Notes to Your Doctor
Finding the right words isn’t always easy. To help you create a meaningful message for the doctor that impacted you, review these sample thank you notes below. Make sure you personalize your note to your experience, but any of these samples make a great template.
Post-surgery thank you note example
Thank you so much for your excellent work during my foot surgery. I experienced minimal pain during recovery, and I have you to thank for everything. I couldn’t have imagined how much better I would feel, and I am confident I’ll be returning to my favorite sports soon. Your kindness and dedication to patients really shine bright in everything you do. Thank you again.
Post-baby delivery thank you note example
Thank you for delivering my baby, Pam Smith. All of your care and concern leading up to the delivery made me feel confident going into the delivery room. The baby class your recommended was a lifesaver, and I can never thank you enough for your help through this entire process. My entire family thanks you for your support. I’m sure I’ll see you soon when I become pregnant again. Kindest regards.
Say thank you for taking care of my loved one example
Thank you for your compassion with my mother, Susan Meyer. The entire family was concerned when she fell sick last month, and you really helped us every step of the way. If it weren’t for you, I don’t know how I would have handled everything. I wanted to let you know that she’s doing better than ever now that she’s home, and it’s all thanks to you. We all send our love and thanks! While we don’t ever want her to have another emergency, I feel much better knowing she’s with you. Thank you for everything.
Saying thanks to your general practitioner example
I appreciate your reliable care year after year. Your guidance during my annual physical keeps me in my best shape, and I owe much of my success to you. Your positivity, helpfulness, and dedication to patients really stand out. I always look forward to your jokes and easy-going manner. Best wishes from a dedicated patient.
Thank Your Doctor with Confidence
A note is the best way to ensure your doctor knows how much you appreciate them. Doctors put in tireless hours and expect nothing in return. For that, we should all give them thanks. If you’ve recently been under a doctor’s care, take a few moments to create a thank you note. These are the small reminders that make all those long hours and days worth it.
Your health is your most valuable asset. Planning for the future is the best way to stay in control of your health. Start end-of-life planning today to prepare for anything tomorrow might bring, while also making the best decisions about your own health.
Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, dealing with the hospital won't be the only thing you have to think about. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.