When dealing with doctors, many patients feel like they are treated like numbers or diseases. We all want to be seen and treated as complete individuals.
You might be surprised to hear that with very few exceptions, my medical colleagues invariably put the patient first. The individual is the focus of every clinical encounter. It is the priority of all that we do – in our daily work, at our meetings, on rounds and in lectures.
Doctors do care about your wellbeing but they don’t always show it.
Have you ever felt unappreciated in a relationship then realized that you are valued in different ways?
It’s as if men and women are from Earth and doctors are from another planet.
The truth is we start off as (and remain very fallible) human beings who are abducted and converted by an alien culture (a.k.a. medical school). Some of us have more difficulty reconnecting with our own humanity and remembering what it’s like to be a patient.
Fortunately, medical schools have been evolving over recent years with greater emphasis on communication and patient-centredness.
In upcoming posts in this series, you’ll learn about promising new initiatives to help physicians relate better to their patients. It’s something we all value. A solid patient-doctor relationship facilitates the therapeutic alliance needed to ensure the best clinical outcomes and positive experiences for both you and your physician.
This is a cornerstone of the new Burnaby Division of Family Practice, a non-profit association of the city’s family physicians. Our vision for the Burnaby community: patients and physicians achieving health and happiness.
But to improve any relationship, both sides must work together. We need your feedback. Send your comments and suggestions to me at facebook.com/davidicus.wong or leave a comment on this page.
What do you like? What don’t you like? How can we do it better?
Dr. Davidicus Wong is Chair of the Burnaby Division of Family Practice. You can find his Positive Potential Medicine podcasts at wgrnradio.com.