Two Way Street and Compassion in Medical Care
Many of the views expressed on my blog thread ”I Hate Doctors” show little, if any, compassion for the plight or burdens that physicians must carry in their general professional life or with regard to specific patients. And yet, as I have mentioned previously, the doctor-patient relationship is not a “one-way street”. To accomplish the goal of the best medical care, both patient and physician have information and responsibilities to relate to each other, which will help to attain that goal. The physician can’t accomplish the task of diagnosis and therapy alone. The participation of the patient is also required. As part of the professional relationship with the patient, the physician must behave in a manner to engender trust with an attentive, thoughtful, considerate and particularly express compassion for the patient. But, my view, which I would like to put up for discussion here, is that the patient should not expect the best out of the doctor, if the patient is belligerent, uncooperative, angry and shows no compassion toward their physician. There are patients out in the world who present to their physicians that very way and expect that the doctor will ignore the patient’s non-productive behavior and be able,nevertheless, to do a good job. Well, doctors are human beings too and despite their education, they have weaknesses as all humans have. A good doctor will try to investigate and understand the basis for anger in an angry patient and attempt to mitigate the patient's concerns. A good patient must, however, remember that he or she is part of the treating team and their own behavior can affect outcomes. Patients should try to avoid behaviors that clearly create roadblocks toward effective treatment of their illness. The two-way street toward a satisfactory therapeutic ending should not be dead-ended by disruption of the doctor-patient relationship by either party. ..Maurice.