There is a Daily Beast article titled “The Doctor Will See You-If You’re Quick“ worth every minute of your reading time. Feel free to share your thoughts about the article here.
A few excerpts:
[N]ot just a question of touchy-feely good vibes:
At the heart of the problem, say many doctors and policy experts, is the fraying of the doctor-patient relationship. And this is not just a question of touchy-feely good vibes: a growing body of research now points to the critical importance of having a connection to a trusted physician. “There is something in the human body that says we are hardwired to get better when we have a certain relationship,” explains Howard Brody, a primary-care physician and director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston. The good news is that doctoring may have hit rock bottom—and policymakers and physicians who have begun efforts to rebuild it realize that the only way out is up.
Shared decision-making: Another potentially transformative effort to improve doctor-patient relations is “shared decision making,” a formal process for helping patients understand treatment options. For example, women who have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer can choose lumpectomy with radiation or mastectomy, surgical removal of the entire breast. Each has pluses and minuses, and patients need to understand the tradeoffs. A brochure or video, called a patient decision aid, can help, but the patient often needs a good communicator, a doctor or other clinician, who can guide her through the choice.
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