What Patients Want

I love this cartoon - sometimes the absurd is so funny. Seems like healthcare is in the news all of the time these days. Someone is either discussing Obamacare or Paul Ryan's plan to change Medicare. Yet you don't usually hear much about the doctor-patient relationship. Rest Ministries recently asked their readers what they wanted from their doctors. Here are a few excerpts from the answers to that question:
  • More time to spend with me to thoroughly answer my questions.
  • For him to trade places with me for one week.
  • For him to listen to me, not just hear me.
  • Empathy and understanding is most important to me with my chronic pain.
  • For her to desire to learn about what I have and treat it as a whole.
  • Send him back to medical school to learn more about chronic pain and how to treat it.
  • Some times he doesn’t write anything down and it’s frustrating.
  • That she would see her patients on time and not make them wait.
I can so relate to these needs. Another improvement that I would like to see is to the way that the doctors communicate amongst themselves about a patient's care. That said I have to say that most of the doctors I have met are excellent professionals doing the best they can under the circumstances. How about you? Anything that you would add to the list?


  1. we met with our midwife last week for 2.5 hours. She checked off almost every single box on that list. Her care is a fraction of the cost of hospital care, but because of the litigious society we live in, Dr's practice defensive medicine to check off a completely different list that has nothing to do with patient relationship. It's like this, there are very very few accidents in pools relating to diving boards, but the perception of them being dangerous has caused them to be removed from almost every single public pool. Midwifery, as practiced worldwide, has a better success rate that what we practice here, but the perception of it being dangerous has caused it to be relegated for the whackos. Now, take midwifery and translate that across the board into every field of medicine.

  2. Interesting post, Bob.

    Appreciate if you will explain "Another improvement that I would like to see is to the way that the doctors communicate amongst themselves about a patient's care". Thanks.

  3. @jrchaard - thanks for the input. You all have had great success with that. Any input on the docs you visit when the kids are sick?

    @Alex - From my point of view in dealing with my wife's disability and her many doctors, most of the communication that docs have with each other is written and not too interactive - not sure that they even email each other. I sometimes wish that they would pick up the phone and talk to each other about their patients. Your practice might be different though.

  4. We have not had any major illnesses, fortunately. For the most part, we avoid the Doctor's office. Most times, since things are minor, we know what is wrong with the kids if we do have to take them in, and can steer the treatment that way.
    At my work, we have a clinic. There is no waiting room. The exam room is larger than my living room with chairs, TV, exam table and instruments, and a bathroom. They do the charting on the TV screen while you are in there. It is very casual and laid back and convenient.

  5. My daughter (14) still wants me in the room with her when she is being seen by health care professionals. She used to go to my doctor (a woman). Until my doctor would turn to me and talk about my daughter as if she weren't even in the room. It infuriated my daughter, and she refuses to see my doctor any more.


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