Improving The Doctor-Patient Relationship

Funny_Doctor_QuotesOver the last 20 years, I have tried to help create a positive impact on the lives of my patients. I have laughed with them. I have cried with them. I have educated them and they have educated me. Many view the doctor-patient relationship unilaterally. They see the doctor as the giver and the patient as the receiver. I view it as bond where both parties benefit from every encounter.

Understanding the true needs of my patients and assisting them fulfill these needs taught me humility. I learned that trust had to be earned and that character, integrity and honesty was equally important to my patients as my doctoring skills. When a doctor steps down from the “pedestal” he or she is capable of helping people attain great changes in their lives.

In this post, I would like your help. I would appreciate your feedback and comments to the following 3 questions. As I continue to raise awareness among doctors, your feedback will give better insight how doctors can provide a more complete service to their patients. My goal is to help improve the doctor-patient relationship as well as the expectations each expects from an an office visit. Thank you for taking your time to help.

  1. What experiences have you had with your doctor(s) that have influenced where you are today?
  2. Do you feel that you have better control of your health as a result of this relationship?
  3. What have been the most important things you’ve learned that has changed your thinking and actions in life?
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14 comments

  1. 1. I unfortunately had a bad experiences with a former doctor who would not listen to me. It has changed me for the better, I make sure that I am being heard.
    2. I absolutely feel like I have better control over my health now because of the past situation.
    3. I am RESPONSIBLE for every outcome in every way in my life. Too many people pass the buck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, however, it sounds like this experience may significantly improve your future quality of care. Unfortunately, many doctors have time restraints which limits their ability to do their jobs as well as they potentially can. This, however, does not excuse the absence of listening to a patient. Understanding their needs and concerns is of primary importance.

      Taking the “bull by the horns” (self responsibility) is going to greatly add to the quality of your life. Patients with this attitude regularly had the best outcomes in my practice.

      Thank you so much for sharing. This type of feedback will absolutely help others!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What experiences have you had with your doctor(s) that have influenced where you are today?

    In the early days of my diagnosis of a brain hemorrhage the surgeons acceptance of my reluctance for surgery gave me three years to prepare mentally for what may lie ahead as the potential complications could have been serious and even life threatening.

    Do you feel that you have better control of your health as a result of this relationship?

    Even though I couldn’t fix the faulty blood vessel, I did over 3 years, improve my health via better food choices and this has played a major role in my recovery after surgery

    What have been the most important things you’ve learned that has changed your thinking and actions in life?

    Anyone can be healthier, Just because one can’t walk or talk, or use their hand does not mean that they can’t have an amazingly healthy body and perfectly working immune system which supports recovery from a health set back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds like your first point suggests finding a doctor willing to listen to your needs and work with you. This diametrically opposes the concept that the physician always knows what is in our best interest and therefore, we must always subject ourselves to their opinions. Our trust and confidence in our doctors must be EARNED. If they cannot work within the confines that we (the patients establish), it might be time to go doctor shopping.

      Since nutrition is not part of the medical curriculum, it sounds like your willingness to learn about the importance of nutrition has been a vital role in your improved health status. It sounds like you recognized the importance of participating in the improvement of your own health. I agree with you. Who cares more about your own health than you?

      I find your positive attitude invigorating. It sounds like you believe in focusing on what you CAN do rather than any limiting factors that PREVENT what you can’t. This is inspiring.

      Thank you so much for your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re spot on Dr Colter.

        Nothing calmed me more than feeling like I was in control of my own health. And it was so easy for me.

        1. First educate myself on nutrition, and discover the benefits a different way of eating will have on my body.
        2. Then learn easy and achievable ways to implement changes over a long period of time so I do not feel overwhelmed about the changes I want to achieve, example remove one type of unhealthy food choice per month, like sugar.
        3. Then notice the difference that not eating sugar for a month, made to my body.
        4. Then test eating sugar again and notice how it affects my body – Now I have evidence on whether or not I should continue consuming that food,
        5. Then make it part of my life style.
        6. Being addicted to eating sugar takes the same amount of effort as being addicted to NOT eating sugar. Shift the focus of the addiction to NOT eating it.
        7. Finally if I had a day where it was not possible to avoid sugar such as a social occasion then be ok with that and go back to your new life style the very next day.

        Like

        1. That makes a lot of sense. To prevent change from being overwhelming, make small incremental changes and see how they affect you. Learn from positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. These are the ideas I think many people are looking for and don’t know where to find them. What a great concept, Bill. Thanks again for your insight.

          Like

  3. I always counted on my GP to lead me the right way, but I found out that he doesn’t believe that my Fibromyalgia is a true disorder, makes fun of it and now I don’t even mention it. I had to find a doctor who believed and takes me seriously. The GP is good for normal things only.

    I have better control of my health now that I found specialists for my different disorders.

    To be honest, drs don’t know everything and one that listens to his patients is a better dr because together you can come up with better solutions to your problems.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think many have encountered the doctor so full of him or herself they don’t have time to truly care about their patient’s wellbeing.

      I agree with you that “Specialists” for specific conditions have more experience and can usually approach the patient as well as the condition more accurately. You may also find that learning as much as you can from various sources will provide additional benefit toward self empowerment. You would be able to use your specialists as additional sources or sources to confirm what you’ve learned.

      Since doctors don’t know everything, it seems that a “partnership” between doctor and patient helps direct the best courses of action. Health is dynamic and requires the ability to adapt and change game plans. A good doctor recognizes this and conveys this sentiment to their patient. Rather than simply relying on a drug to “achieve the job,” a good doctor uses medication to leap over obstacles and then seeks the patient’s help to maintain quality living. In my opinion, a good doctor discusses all of these points at an office visit; not simply “are you taking your meds?”

      I appreciate your feedback. Fibromyalgia is a difficult diagnosis and many doctors are frustrated with limitations in treatment. I’ll bet that blogging has provided you an outlet that has helped you deal with your health. My hats off to you! I love the way you keep trekking along.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your input. I do a lot of research on my own because I just don’t trust all these doctors especially the ones that just want to add another drug to my daily arsenal. Half the time the drugs fight each other and don’t like me at all and I can’t take them. It is usually a long term search for things that work. Unfortunately my favorite dr for my fibro retired. Had to find a new one. He believes, it is just his personality I am not in mesh with. I went from laid back to very severe. Although I won’t say he isn’t a good dr. He is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1. What experiences have you had with your doctor(s) that have influenced where you are today?

    I trusted that doctors knew what was best for me and that I should follow their instructions to the letter. Unfortunately, although I have had caring doctor’s, they did not know what was best for me. My ailments were not cured; my symptoms only managed. When I saw how antibiotics adversely affected my son, I began to realize the truth.

    2. Do you feel that you have better control of your health as a result of this relationship?

    I believe that the short-comings of this relationship forced me to take an active interest in learning to care for myself naturally.

    3. What have been the most important things you’ve learned that has changed your thinking and actions in life?

    Prevention and maintenance. Adopting a lifestyle that allows me to live the life I want to live. Whole foods. Fresh Air. Exercise. Plenty of water. 9 hours sleep a night. Also extremely important is a positive attitude. All designed to improve my immune system. If sickness does manage to sneak in, I try herbal remedies first. I am most pleased that I have been able to wean myself off of most of my medications with the help of my physician, with only 2 more to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the wording, “my symptoms were managed.” I term this disease management. ROOT CAUSE will be heard by the population more and more. If we FIX the root cause, we don’t have to manage disease.

      On one end I’m sorry your experiences had “short comings”, however, as a result it sounds like you learned the necessity for self reliance and self responsibility. It also sounds like this has boosted your positive view on life. I’m seeing a pattern with the people that have responded showing that self empowerment and responsibility has lead to a healthier and happier person.

      It’s wonderful to read the words from a person that obviously values the importance of a good quality of life. I agree with your assessment on the components needed for healthy living. Congratulations on how far you have come! I’ll bet with your determination, the last two meds will be history!

      Great feedback, thank you.

      Like

  6. I have an excellent therapist who has a holistic approach but my experience of the behavioral health system is that it is woefully inadequate and driven by the needs of accountants…

    That said, I do find that in general my health plan incorporates a holistic approach that dies include diet, exercise with an emphasis on physical wellness..

    Like

    1. Thank you for your comment. In my opinion, it is all about BALANCE. I generally recommend achieving this by providing your body what it needs FIRST, followed by what your body wants. Whether it’s mental or physical health, the same applies. This balancing act requires tweaking as we age. Rather than looking at this as a “battle”, I suggest looking at it as a “challenge.” The winner is the person with the best quality (not necessarily quantity) of life!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed…the goal is to post-pone the inevitable dissolution of the body until the absolute end.

        Liked by 1 person

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