Please tell me your thoughts on the doctor-patient relationship. Does it matter? If so, why?

  • It’s key. If it’s not there the patient won’t trust you and take your advice. It’s the key to being a successful physician.
  • It’s integral to have some honesty and trust both ways otherwise the issues can’t move forward.
  • Yes, it is very important. Have to enlist the patient if you want them to do well. I enjoy that.
  • Yes, it matters. Not with every patient. Some patients come in and I could be a machine. All they want is to feel better or whatever their agenda is. But there are a lot of patients and there is a real relationship.
  • I love it. I am in a unique position. Can help patients change things they could not change before. Absolutely. The patients have usually left a doctor that they didn’t have a good relationship with.
  • It matters tremendously. It is not a placebo. The patient being heard in a private way that does not have to leave the room has a healing effect. It is such a privilege. It enriches my life and healing for the patient. Nothing is more precious. I am constantly striving to preserve it. It is endangered.
  • It is supremely sacred and never to be violated.
  • It matters the most because a good relationship means compliance and compliance means better outcomes which costs less.
  • It is a matter of trust. If the patient feels that his or her welfare is my primary concern. Without that trust nothing works.
  • It matters a lot. Have to have trust. If not, it is done. They have to trust you and you have to trust them or the relationship is sunk. The relationship matters a lot. I discussed it once with a hospitalist. They just know the patients when they come in. There is no relationship. They see them once. For example, with a blood transfusion, the hospitalist couldn’t get a patient to do it. His primary care doctor called and got him to agree to it in a few minutes.
  • It definitely matters in the kind of work that I do. So much of primary care is not just the science. If you have a good relationship, it helps you do your job better. You can uncover things that you need to make the diagnosis. A lot of physical symptoms are related to emotional life and history. If someone is not comfortable telling you, you can miss a large piece of the puzzle.
  • It is everything and it’s why they keep coming back. We are in a unique position to make a difference. I get an opportunity to intervene.
  • The doctor patient relationship takes what we do out of the dimension of strictly delivering a service.
  • Enormously matters. It is about trust issues. I let my guard down and talk about my inadequacies easily. That helps too.
  • It is critical. They tell me such stories if they don’t open up to me. I can help them more when they tell me what they are worried about.
  • It’s changing. People are getting in the way. It’s hard to develop a relationship if you know it could be gone in a moment if their insurance changes.
  • It matters. It is essential. If you don’t have it you will misdiagnose and not give them the proper care.
  • It’s important. It has to be earned and they have to see that you really care. It makes a significant difference to help them with the right treatment. They trust you to give them the right treatment or to be honest and that you don’t know.
  • No question that it is important and it is good for their health.
  • That’s where it is and where it all starts. It’s almost everything. It matters. If the relationship is good, it opens everything up to taking good care of somebody. The person will listen to your recommendations because they trust you. If it’s not a good relationship they may not listen because of that.
  • It matters to the extreme. It is what makes people better more often than medication.
  • You have to create a relationship and you have to take time to do it. It helps their outcomes and your satisfaction. It’s everything. It is the most important thing about how a patient does. You have to have it to get them to buy in and do it for themselves. With a strong relationship your voice will be in their heads at home.
  • I do primary care so you have to have that relationship. How do you get the patients to comply? You have to have a relationship. You have to care and be interested in them and then they will follow what you say to do. If you have no interest or act like a robot, the patient will not follow your care or keep coming back and ask for your help when they need it.


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