Navigating Depersonalized Health Care
Do you feel that health care is too impersonal?
Do you feel like you have a healthy relationship with doctors and specialists?
"...First you spend an interminable 45 minutes in the waiting room. Then, shivering nervously in a flimsy paper gown, you wait some more in the exam room. Finally, the door opens and Dr. X enters, your chart in hand. He asks (without taking his eyes off the paper in front of him) why you're there. He is so clearly rushed that you become flustered, forget all the questions you were planning to ask, and instead mumble a few cursory comments. Only later, back at the receptionist's desk when you're paying the bill, do you get annoyed..."
"...I don't know about
you, but my wife and I have always been careful about
choosing our family physician. We want our family physician to know about
us and to develop a long-standing relationship so that if a medical emergency occurs we will feel confident that our family doctor will take all this into consideration and present us with the best options to treat us.
This would be especially true if it was a visit to the emergency room whereby a family member was in need of health care. It would be a sense of relief when your family physician entered the ER and you could trust that the care they wanted to deliver was based on good health care and the relationship. If your doctor said he wanted to admit your family member to the hospital, you could feel your doctor would see a family member through this hospital stay.
Unfortunately, this is no longer true."
~~> VIEWPOINT: Medical care is becoming too impersonal
Doctors And Patients, At Odds
"I, as patient, say stop acting like you know everything," he wrote. "Admit it, and we patients may stop distrusting your quick off-the-line, glib diagnosis."
Doctors say they are not surprised. "It's been striking to me since I went into practice how unhappy patients are and, frankly, how mistreated patients are," said Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, director of the heart failure program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and an occasional contributor to Science Times.
He recounted a conversation he had last week with a patient who had been transferred to his hospital. "I said, 'So why are you here?' He said: 'I have no idea. They just transferred me.'
"Nobody is talking to the patients," Dr. Jauhar went on. "Everyone is so rushed. I don't think the doctors are bad people - they are just working in a broken system."
~~> Doctor And Patient, Now At Odds
Effective Doctor-Patient Communication
"...There are more challenges than ever in today's healthcare environment. Limited appointment time, the ability of patients to do their own research which then needs to be discussed with practitioners, and the numbers of patients who are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed; these challenges and others make effective communications between patients and their practitioners more important than ever. "
~~> .com/od/therightdoctorforyou/a/docpatientcomm.htm href="http://patients.about.com/od/therightdoctorforyou/a/docpatientcomm.htm">Doctor Communications
"Researchers who conducted interviews a few years ago with 192 patients at the Mayo Clinics in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Rochester, Minn., identified seven "ideal physician behaviors." Patients want their doctors to be "confident, empathetic, humane, personal, forthright, respectful and thorough,"
~~> Well Chosen Words At The Doctor's Office
Steps That May Help You
Be organized before arriving at the doctor's office. Come prepared with information about your symptoms, how long you have had the symptoms, what -- if anything -- you have done to treat them at home. Also, be prepared to discuss your lifestyle, habits, etc.
Bring a list of medications you take including dosage and frequency (or the actual medication bottles).
Also before your visit, prepare a list of questions you may have about your symptoms or condition. Check off the questions as they are answered so you know you have covered everything.
Be prepared to talk about your family's medical history, as well as your own, including any major medical events. Bring a list of your immunizations and medical history, if possible.
Make sure you provide your doctor with complete information about your condition -- don't hold back. This may mean relating some very personal information, but it is in your best interest to help the doctor determine the best course of treatment.
~~> Communicating with Your Doctor
~~> Successful Communication
~~> Tips for Talking to Your Doctor
~~> How to Talk to Your Doctor or Nurse
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood Chronic Pain ModeratorMail