How Patients affect their Doctors

I read a really nice point of view recently written by Dr. Scott Haig in Time magazine (May 1st, 2006). He wrote about the relationship between doctors and their patients and a few of his thoughts really hit home.

Consider the following observation: few patients realize how deeply they can affect their doctors. That is one big secret in medicine. We doctors think about, talk about, dream about our patients. Surprising but true. Our patients can make or break our day.

Dr. Haig went on to point out that the trust patients put in doctors empowers most of us to do our best. Doctors really do think that the story of your health concerns, your symptoms, your aches and pains is more interesting than topics people discuss during their business day, more compelling than watching the news or checking up on their investment portfolios. And that is why many doctors regret not being able to spend more time getting the whole story, not being able to extract all the important details or making sure that patients understand what’s been discussed, discovered, decided.

The current standard of medical practice doesn’t allow for that kind of exchange. Instead, it creates doubt in the doctor’s mind (and the patient’s!) about how satisfactorily the patient’s needs have been met….and whether anything has been missed. Not enough time, too much pressure, too many patients at once. Is it surprising that a lot of doctor’s thoughts about a patient’s visit turn into guilt and nightmares when they realize they realize that there are elements of the patient’s story they forgot to ask about? tests that they forgot to order? medications they forgot to prescribe?

That is why, at MHC, we make more time for our clients. It is our firm conviction that we need to get the whole story the first time… getting the clues to a good mystery with no interruptions. No distractions, no multi-tasking. Doctors who spend more time listening means clients can trust that they have their doctor’s full attention. That trust is invaluable. And it makes for healthier, satisfied clients (and doctors).

Experience the MHC difference.