Patients Report Problems with Their Physician
A recent article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in which two thousand patients were surveyed concluded that 78% of patients had at least one complaint about their physician.
The most common complaints were that the physician did not have enough time to explain the findings of the visit, answers to questions asked were not understandable, and the patient was not allowed to be involved in treatment decisions. These problems were serious enough that the patients were giving consideration to changing doctors.
The article concluded that physicians need more training in communication skills. They must focus on answering questions in ways that patients understand and they must take enough time to answer questions and provide adequate information.
On a personal note having been in practice for a number of years, I feel that I am aware of these problems that can occur between patients and their physician. In addition, I have always felt it was very important to involve the patient and family in treatment decisions and explain the different alternatives of treatment.