Being aware of what's happening in the room -- paying attention to the process -- requires an intention, a willingness to be present, to show up and engage with our patients in a way that is mutually respectful.
With more consumers turning to the Internet to search for health information, the process can be labor intensive, leaving consumers confused and wondering if the information presented is accurate or just hype.
This is an important kind of accessibility that is severely lacking in the medical world. My doctor should be as accessible to me as her front office is. She should be as accessible as a designer is to his clients, as owners are to their dogs, as a manager is to her employees.
Needless to say, I was very relieved when I left the office of Dr. #4. I loved hearing that I wouldn't need a hysterectomy and that I no longer had pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. But I couldn't help being shocked at how little curiosity he'd shown over a promising new treatment for his patients.
We often equate knowledge with power: The more we know, the better we are able to make decisions. Unfortunately, there are cases where ignorance really may be bliss, and Alzheimer's isn't the only one.
You may be dissatisfied and frustrated by the way your medical care is today, but there is a way to make it better. You hold the key to transforming your health, beginning with establishing a solid partnership with your doctor.
Patients like Robert make clear that the very personal meaning patients find in their illnesses can be profoundly empowering. All too often, however, health care does not allow patients to explore the personal significance of their diseases.
Has this ever happened to you? You are at an appointment with your doctor. She asks you for something, say, the dosage of your cholesterol medication or the results of your recent blood draw you had. You think to yourself, shoot, if only I brought that with me!
Brian Goldman makes an impassioned personal case for changing the culture of medicine by admitting errors of judgment. I think that the most important step in making that change is recognizing the relationship between physician and patient for what it really is: a partnership.
Does race or gender influence decision-making among members of the most respected professions? Several recent, high-profile studies conclude that, yes, even scientists, doctors, and judges are vulnerable to such unconscious bias.
In health care, the world breaks down into two types: those who "believe" in alternative medicine and those who think it is quackery. This is unfortunate. New ideas are always alternative until they become well accepted.
Many of us want to make a real difference in our world, so let's make a real difference in health care. Real health care reform is in our hands. It's between the patient and the doctor and the neighbor and family members. We are the key players.
To effectively engage patients and caregivers, it is critical that health care providers engage with empathy. With empathy we connect, we understand, we listen, and we communicate. We can engage and empower our patients to be proactive and in charge of their health.
Helen's shortness of breath forced a trip to the emergency room. Over a seven-day course of treatment Helen was handed from one doctor to the next, accumulating a patchwork team of six doctors who worked sequentially rather than together.
Was Marcus Welby better able to treat the entire patient than Dr. House? It is time for America to create an oral history of the medical profession. These gray-haired physicians may illuminate how we might meld the best of the past and the promise of the future of medicine.
The doctor/patient relationship is highly personal and complex. The physician must maintain a professional rapport and the patient's dignity, respect the person's privacy, and convey an impression of competence.