10 happily married couples why their relationships work. No
doubt you'll hear a common phrase offered as the key ingredient:
communication. Communication is vital to all human relationships,
whether between husband and wife, employer and employee, or
doctor and patient.
The relationship between the physician and the patient is
especially important because life-and-death issues may be
involved. Communication problems that contribute to a delay
in diagnosis and treatment can prove fatal.
Race, ethnicity and gender have been cited as important barriers
affecting patient-physician communication. A study that appeared
in the August 11, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American
Medical Association investigated these variables in terms
of patients' expectations and sense of participation in the
clinical experience. Results revealed some disturbing differences:
€ Patients who were the same race as their physician rated
their visits as more participatory than other patients;
€ African-American patients rated visits as far less participatory
than Caucasian patients; and
€ Patients of female physicians rated visits as more participatory
than patients of male physicians.
The authors suggest that these findings emphasize the need
for improved cross-cultural communication between primary
care physicians and patients. Don't let your doctor examine
you for a minute or two and then send you on your way with
another prescription. And if you're looking for a thorough
examination and consultation with a health care professional
who will take the time to answer all your questions, make
an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic.
Cooper-Patrick L, Gallo JJ, Gonzales JJ, et al. Race, gender
and partnership in the patient-physician relationship. Journal
of the American Medical Association, August 11, 1999:
Vol. 282, No. 6, pp583-89. .