Reading and using body language in your medical practice: 25 research findings

J Med Pract Manage. 2011 May-Jun;26(6):357-62.


Your patients and your coworkers will make judgments the moment they see you based upon your body language cues. As well, you can tell what they are thinking and feeling if you know how to read their body language behaviors. This article provides 25 research-based findings about workplace body language that medical practice personnel can use immediately to improve their communication and effectiveness. It suggests numerous telltale nonverbal signs of hidden deception, superiority, fear, discomfort, anxiety, subordination, weakness, strength, openness, and disgust. As well, this article explores proxemics, the area of nonverbal communication that explores how we use space to communicate. This article is loaded with practical tips to help every member of the medical practice staff read others better and harness nonverbal savvy to convey effective and appropriate nonverbal messages to patients and to one another.

MeSH terms

  • Emotions
  • Facial Expression
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Kinesics*
  • Leadership
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Practice Management, Medical*
  • Psychological Distance
  • Research
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Verbal Behavior