The Patient-Doctor Relationship: The Sources of Conflict

The positive patient-doctor relationship is essential to your health, but it is often far from perfect.

The reasons for conflict and discomfort are complex. Doctors are human too with their own priorities and emotional reactions. Sometimes our styles and personalities clash. As with all our relationships, we each bring emotional baggage to the bedside.

Medical school teaches us to be dispassionate and dissociated so that we can be objective and clear-headed in an emergency. If we do this too well, we can come across as cold and clinical.

We learn a particular system of inquiry – a way of funneling down our questions from broad to narrow. When we become too focused on disease and overly task-oriented, we may seem abrupt and rushed. Doctors are known to interrupt their patients’ answers in order to ask another question!

Patients sometimes feel like they are treated like a number or a disease. They want to be seen and treated as complete individuals.

Next: You may be surprised how doctors really feel about patients.

Advertisements

About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in patient-doctor relationship, Positive Potential, Relationships and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s