Previous studies have shown that what your doctor tells you
can have a major impact on the your belief system. This has
led some doctors to adopt a more patient-centered approach
- one in which your doctor works to understand you as a whole,
finds common ground, and uses this approach in managing your
that the type of doctor you want? If it is, you’re certainly
not the only one. A recent study in the British Medical
Journal investigated 865 patients’ preferences for a patient-centered
approach to care in the general practice setting. Patients
were asked to complete a questionnaire before and after a
consultation with a primary care practitioner; questions were
asked about patient-centered approaches to care and about
examination and prescription preferences.
Results showed that 88-99% of the respondents wanted communication
with their doctor; 77-87% desired a sense of partnership;
and 85-89% emphasized health promotion. Only 63% of the patients
prioritized the actual examination, and even fewer had interest
in their doctor giving a prescription.
What do we as patients want from our doctor? Perhaps more
than anything else, we want a meaningful relationship. We
want to feel as if our doctor cares about our health problems,
is listening to us, and is working with us to maximize health.
Remember these standards whenever you make an appointment
with any health care professional.
P, Everitt H, Williamson I, et al. Preferences for patient-centered
approach to consultation in primary care: observational study.
British Medical Journal 2001: Vol. 322, pp 1-7.