Washington Times Examines Problems With Physician-Patient Relationships
The Washington Times on Tuesday looked at problems with the current doctor-patient relationships that lead physicians to feel "pressed and stressed" and patients "frustrated and ignored." Health maintenance organizations' limits on appointment duration and reimbursement for preventive treatments contribute to the pressure felt on both sides, according to the Times. Economic pressures to move patients out of hospitals often erode post-operative care because physicians may not thoroughly explain how to administer treatments themselves or make sure patients have help at home during their recovery, according to Dr. Deborah Kasman, an assistant professor of medicine in charge of supervising medical residents at Georgetown University Medical Center. Communication is hindered by the "unequal relationship that exists in the examining room," physicians who have poor listening skills, patients who come to the appointment unprepared and medical terminology that nearly 50% of all U.S. adults have difficulty understanding, the Times reports. In addition, Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, vice chair of medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that "over-reliance" on medical tests "romanticizes the technical and devalues the ability to view the patient in a sociological context" (Geracimos, Washington Times, 5/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.