Doctor-patient relationship: A sensitive topic that impacts our lives

Approximate reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

The doctor-patient relationship is essential when addressing a disease or treatment. It is the central core of the practice of Medicine, since it allows the patient to satisfy their health needs and the doctor to fulfill his most important social function: caring for and treating patients.

The quality of care will always go hand in hand with an improvement in the doctor-patient relationship, and there is a transversal link between the training that health professionals have and communication, and patient safety.

The relationship between the doctor and the patient is considered as the meeting between two people who communicate with each other: one as the sick person and the other as the person capable of providing help, based on their technical knowledge, professional skills and experience. . It is a model of human relationship that began to be practiced from the very origins of humanity through different techniques and relational models, revealing the instinct for help that our species harbors.

In fact, there is written evidence of this doctor-patient relationship since the Code of Hammurabi (1728 BC), as well as in the Hippocratic Oath (460-347 BC) or in the Prayer of Maimonides (Córdoba, 1,138).

In Internal Medicine room 12A of the Cienfuegos hospital, Dr. Sandra Borroto Lecuna encourages students the importance of an adequate doctor-patient relationship./ Photo: By the author

The doctor-patient relationship is essential since, in itself, it provides an indisputable therapeutic improvement. Communication is key to patient safety. If this is good, the doctor, as an expert, will be able to accompany the suffering, even until the end of the patient’s last days, but also in their well-being and in the progress of the treatments.

This relationship can also improve diagnostic guidance and reduce the need for complementary tests. It also contributes positively to greater and more conscious adherence to treatment, once the patient is involved and accompanied in decision-making.

Another factor to take into account is that health care is not carried out in the intimacy of a meeting between two, but rather involves the doctor, the patient, as well as other health professionals and, in many cases, companions of the patient who They also take center stage in the relationship.

The consultation is the fundamental stage of the doctor’s healthcare activity. The decisions made there mark the destiny of a patient. The doctor needs time to listen carefully to the patient, examine him thoroughly, write a complete medical history and explain to him and his family the patient’s illness, the evolution of the clinical picture, the complementary examinations and the treatment. Doctors and patients have become accustomed to short consultations; This hurts both parties. The doctor knows that he is harming his profession and exposes himself to making mistakes and the patient does not feel satisfied and is, many times, certain that he has not been correctly evaluated.

It is necessary to create a network of trust between the patient and their doctor and vice versa, essential to achieve the therapeutic effect that the clinical interview alone has. This is only possible in an organizational framework that allows, first, to dedicate to each patient the time they need, without the doctor dying in the attempt, and secondly, that the doctor can occupy part of his or her work schedule. I work on non-care tasks, including reviewing medical records and improving them.

The educommunicative analysis of this reporter allows us to conclude that to improve the relationship between medical professionals and users of the health system, it is necessary to implement different strategies and actions that allow us to capture more information, gain trust and thus be able to respond. to the needs of patients from a comprehensive perspective, which will ultimately lead to achieving higher rates of user and professional satisfaction.

Dr. Claudia Pérez Portel, first-degree specialist in Nephrology, during the medical interrogation, key to a good diagnosis./ Photo: By the author
Dr. Suanlys Suárez Castellano, specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery, during the physical examination of a patient at the Cumanayagua polyclinic./ Photo: By the author

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