A recent article, A Doctor that Every Patient Would Want, by Suneel Dhand, MD, highlights much of what I have been writing and speaking on for many years–the importance nurturing the doctor-patient relationship. It is encouraging to read Dr. Dhand’s words and his call for us to get back to basics, put the patient first and refocus our attention on the humanity of medicine despite a healthcare system that by design often loses sight of the patients’ needs.
Much of what I have championed in my career and in with my work as a mentor and teacher at the Drossman Center, embodies what Dr. Dhand says here in this excerpt from his article:
“The doctor-patient interaction is sacred and those precious few minutes transcend everything else and should be every doctor’s “zone”. That is something that no mandate, administrator or information technology can ever touch. They are what the patients and families will remember and judge you on. Patients simply cannot just be an afterthought in a real healthcare system.”
I encourage my colleagues to read Dr. Dhand’s latest article and then ask themselves if they are a patient’s “dream doctor.” If not, then it is time to put the patient first and take the necessary steps to make the patient’s “dream doctor” a reality.
Douglas A. Drossman, MD