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The Deteriorated Doctor-Patient Relationship

Why has the doctor-patient relationship degenerated to the point where it needs healing? The main reason is that we are using a system that relies on drugs and surgery to treat symptoms as opposed to the underlying cause of the disease. This allows many diseases to progress to chronic crippling conditions. Caring for those conditions requires more interaction with the doctor. On top of that, the managed care system has whittled the time a doctor can spend with each patient. It's harder today for doctors to adequately educate patients in the time allotted for a visit. And patients on the whole, he said, haven't yet become aggressive enough in pushing for what they want and need.

Patient recommendations to doctors included:

  • Be timely for appointments and in returning calls.
  • Pay more attention to the office staff and environment, and realize these have an impact on the patient experience.
  • Remain objective when patients speak of trying alternative or nontraditional therapies.
  • Work with patients to explicitly define and discuss realistic expectations and goals for testing and treatment.

Doctors' recommendations for patients included:

  • Assume ultimate responsibility for managing your condition and use all self-care opportunities provided by the doctor.
  • Get to your appointments on time and be ready to ask questions and participate in the decision-making process
  • Keep a personal health file and have it available to share with all members of your health care team.

My recommendations to both doctors and patients:

  • Abandon the drug and surgery model for all but acute care medical traumas and the short term band-aids that they really are.
  • Educate yourself to the true causes of disease. The Internet offers some great tools and you can use my site as a great start. The search engine box is located on the top right side and you can use it at no cost to answer just about any health question you have to find simple practical alternatives. You can also use my tips pages on search engines to help you better tailor your search.

Patient Physician Relationship

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