Rita Rubin reported in U.S.A. Today about a study where doctors conversations with their patients were recorded. Here's the conclusion:
Do you agree with this statement? Some doctors and patients implied that the study's investigators wants to find ways to force more patients through the office--it's not about patient care at all.
Empathy, understanding and compassion work better than self-disclosure, the authors wrote. Personal conversation is important, Beckman says, but doctors need to find time for it outside of patient visits.
Says Jeffrey Borkan, Brown University family medicine chair, who invited McDaniel to talk about her study with residents and faculty: "People lose sight about where their boundaries are. The focus should always be on the patient."
It has been my experience that rapport-building requires some give and take. I don't know a thing about my kid's pediatrician's personal life--except that she has three children. She is wonderful and competent.
We just went to the dentist and when he found out that I was a chiropractor he lamented his aching neck, told a funny personal story and laughed at himself. He also interacted kindly with the kids. I really, really liked him. He might have spent three extra minutes with us. Not much, but enough that I will definitely recommend people to go to him. He was just a nice guy. I'm not sure I would have felt the same way had he stuck to business and moved on mechanically.
I guess thinking through all our family's health issues, other than a God-complex here or there, most of the doctors struck the right balance. There was one pediatrician on-call who was rude, disrespectful and generally a jerk. He didn't strike me as the type of guy who had a satisfying personal life. I would never go to him again.
A doctor can be all about himself without interacting or with being a self-indulgent chatter-box. It seems to me the patient decides what kind of personality works best for him or her.