The Two Essentials to Creating a Reciprocal and Respectful Relationship with Your Doctor
Female doctor discussing with a patient

The Two Essentials to Creating a Reciprocal and Respectful Relationship with Your Doctor

Do you respect your doctor? Do you think your doctor respects you?

Too many relationships lack respect, and the one between a patient and a doctor is no different. All to often, there is tension as either side doesn’t feel that they are being respected.This connects with the larger issue of what defines respect?

In Bond, I define respect as, “treating others with common courtesy, good social manners, and appreciating each other’s humanity.” Understanding this sentence is much easier said than done. Below are the two essentials to developing this trust.

1) Respect for each other’s experience and knowledge

As a patient, it is very important that you understand the context and experience that your doctor has. The doctor has gone through years of training to best help you. As a doctor, we must empathize we our patients. We have not gone through the same experience as the patient has. We must respect our patients and listen to what they share with us. At the same time, the patient must understand that it is imperative to share all of their symptoms with the doctor.

2) Respect for each other’s time

I’ve been on both sides of this. As a patient, I’ve had to spend more time in the waiting room than I wanted to. As a doctor, I’ve been behind schedule and unfortunately had my patients waiting and/or been late to their appointment. This can easily derail the entire patient visit. Everyone, both the doctor and the patient, has to understand that the other party is not planning on or intentionally running late. Through the course of a day life happens and it is not a personal attack.

In my new book, Bond: The 4 Cornerstones of a Lasting and Caring Relationship with your Doctor. I share more about why respect is an integral part of the patient-doctor bond. I also go into detail about trust, communication, and empathy.

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