Remember all the discussions we were having about new doctors and new patients and the doctor-patient relationship and trust and all that? Well I just found this blog (where I'm even blogrolled; what a nice surprise) with a post that says it all, more succinctly and eloquently than I could ever manage:
What more can we doctors and patients ask of each other? Well said!
What exactly does contribute to trust in a physician/patient relationship?
- The subjective feeling that the doctor actually cares about the patient as a person as well as a constellation of diagnoses. To the doctor, you aren’t just a number or just another patient.
- Communication: knowing that the doctor is willing to answer questions as they come up. Knowing the physician will call you back when you have a question or a problem.
- The trusted doctor encourages patients to educate themselves on health issues and is not afraid to address an article or an internet reference.
- Knowing when it is time to call in a consultation or refer to a specialist. The doctor you can trust knows when they don’t know.
So the onus is all on the physician?
Not at all.
- The patient keeps appointments as scheduled or gives adequate notice if unable to do so. Doctors are busy and they run tight schedules. The appointment you don’t keep is an appointment someone else could have used.
- The patient exercises patience if the doctor is running late with their appointments, knowing that medicine is anything but orderly and urgent matters arise. The patient understands that the doctor does believe the patient’s time is valuable and tries to adhere as closely to schedule as possible.
- The patient is compliant with the medications and plan of care developed with the doctor. If they cannot be comply, they are honest with the physician in describing the issue(s) that interfere with compliance.
If these factors are present, trust in the physician/patient relationship can flourish.
- If the patient disagrees with the way a doctor deals with a medical problem, the patient is honest about their feelings and discusses the issue with the doctor. The first inkling that there is a problem should not be the request for their records to be transferred to a new office.
Way behind because of office craziness, but optimistic about catching up over the weekend.
Word count to date: 1912
"It was a dark and stormy night.
Actually, it was an unseasonably balmy fifty-seven degrees in the early morning Philadelphia late fall, but that's not really important."