What makes a good doctor-patient relationship?Posted by in General
When you’re feeling ill, or if you haven’t been able to relieve yourself for a week, or wonder why it hurts when you breathe, you will need the help of a qualified professional. Most conditions that are more serious than a pesky cold or an ice-cream headache should be treated by your doctor; someone who knows you inside out – literally. This professional relationship of highly intimate proportions should only be exercised behind the closed door of the doctor’s rooms or a surgical curtain, but what makes it so special?
Hippocrates said so
A good doctor-patient relationship is centred on the doctor’s practice of medical ethics and establishing a good rapport with patients. If you know that you can trust your doctor’s confidence as deeply as his expertise, you are more than likely to return to his practice for future consultations.
Shared life philosophies
If your approach to treating your illnesses is to address physical and emotional concerns, drink some tea and have a good rest, yet your doctor’s answer to all itches, scratches and coughs lies in his untidy scrawl on his prescription pad, then it’s unlikely that your doctor-patient relationship will survive. You may not feel comfortable disclosing all of the information required for your doctor to make a thorough diagnosis if you think he’ll just throw another box of pills at your symptoms.
He’s at your bedside
People – especially patients in a state of suffering – want to be treated with care and compassion. It’s preferable that your doctor is reassuring and comforting while honestly and professionally delivering the not so fantastic news about your collapsed lung or kidney stones. If he smacks you upside the head for not taking care of your ruptured appendix, then you can say for sure that he has poor bedside manner.
Essential to good healthcare
The doctor-patient relationship, based on trust, confidence and proof of expertise, is central to effective healthcare and informed treatment. Are you going to return to the doctor who spoke in highfalutin medical jargon and made you feel like an idiot, or the condescending GP who doodled on his medical pad to indicate the position of your genitals? Neither. You want the doctor who listens attentively, meets you on your level, and treats you like an individual.
Image courtesy of: www.nickdelgado.com