Doctors should take measures to reinforce patient trust in them

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Communication between doctors and patients is a two-way street

New Delhi, 3rd December 2018: A recently conducted survey has revealed that about 60% to 80% of people were not forthcoming with their doctors about information that could be relevant to their health. Besides lying about diet and exercise, more than a third of the respondents in the survey did not speak up when they disagreed with their doctor’s recommendation. Another common scenario was failing to admit they did not understand their clinician’s instructions.

Research indicates that some people lie to doctors to avoid being judged. Others may be simply too embarrassed to tell the truth or just do not want to be lectured about how bad certain behavior is.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Communication between the doctor and patient is a two-way process; both should be open to each other. Communication is the very basis of doctor-patient relationship and often, also the root cause of many disagreements between them. Professional competence is anyway expected from doctors give their medical education and qualifications, but they are also expected to be compassionate towards their patients. Patients expect their doctor to listen to them and be courteous at the same time. the triad of ‘Plan, Communication and Documentation’ can be the answer to this, where ‘Plan’ means observations and treatment decided by the doctor and if the same is ‘Communicated’ to the patient, ‘Documented’ and then implemented, there can never be a dispute. This will perhaps also encourage the patient to be more open about their concerns and habits with the doctor.”

A patient who does not trust his doctor will not confide in him nor will he be motivated to adhere to the prescribed treatment plan. Modern medicine today is patient-centric based on partnership, where the patient is an equal partner in the diagnostic and therapeutic process. Patients rely on doctors to take care of their health, so it is important that patients trust their doctors. Be courteous with the patients and explain the management plan in a language that they can understand. This is the concept of informed consent.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The five components of a better doctor-patient relationship are: Acknowledge, Introduce, Explain, Define the duration of time and finally Thank the patients. If you cannot practice compassion-based medicine, then at least practice etiquette-based medicine. The three components of a good doctor are: Available, Behavior and Competency.  Remember that an available and well-behaved doctor is much more important than a doctor who is competent.”

As doctors we SERVE our patients and the community and provide

  • Service which we have professionally trained for, which is
  • Excellent i.e. anticipated
  • Responsible, give our 100% to the patients and take responsibility
  • Value – Group; each member of the group knows the duties of another, so no gap in service may result
  • Enthusiasm: A positive happy atmosphere