“Bed-Side Manner" is Just Acting
Kevin, M.D. Medical Weblog reports on an article in the Health Behavior News regarding a study regarding how the public selects a physician: “bed-side manner” vs technical skill. Kevin has a number of interesting comments regarding the matter. Go to the site to read them after reading the original article. I posted a comment there that I am reproducing below. I express my disagreement with the term “bed-side manner” as a description of the personal interaction between doctor and patient.. What do you think? ..Maurice.
"Bed-side manner" is currently considered in medical school definitions as a dramatic acting behavior and which is scripted and learned. We don't teach bed-side manner. True empathy is NOT scripted. Attempts at understanding the bio-psycho-social aspects of the patient and the illness is NOT scripted. Attempting to simply care for the patient, rather than acting like the physician cares is NOT scripted. And there is no script of acting regarding how to make that all important intellectual and spiritual connection with the patient. Students learn that the goal is to become a trusted, understanding and caring physician. They attempt to reach that goal by trial and error with patients under mentoring by role model teachers through expressing the student's own personal qualities, behavior and technical skills. The technical skills are all part of the goal to provide care to the patient. Each physician will appeal to the patient in different ways regarding trust, understanding and care and it is up to the patient to select, if possible, that physician whose behavior is most comfortable to the patient. ..Maurice.