Eroding Doctor-Patient Relationships

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The “Bed-Side Manner” Deterioration Continues

[By Staff Reporters]

A growing chorus of discontent suggests that the once-revered doctor-patient relationship is on the rocks.


About one in four patients feel that their physicians sometimes expose them to unnecessary risk, according to data from a Johns Hopkins University [JHU] study published in the journal, Medicine, while two recent studies show that whether patients trust a doctor strongly influences whether they take their medication, according to the New York Times, on July 29, 2008.


In bookstores, there is now a new genre of “what your doctor won’t tell you” books promising previously withheld information on everything from weight loss to heart disease, while the Internet is bristling with frustrated comments, blogs, text-messages and wiki’s, etc., from patients.

Raison Detra’

Reasons for the frustration include declining reimbursements and higher costs that give doctors only minutes to spend with each patient, news reports about medical errors and drug industry influence fueling patients’ distrust, and the rise of direct-to-consumer drug advertising and medical Web sites that have taught patients to research their own medical issues and made them more skeptical and inquisitive.

Of course, related quality improvement initiatives seem to be loosing ground.


One can only wonder if more extensive use of physician-extenders; like PAs, CRNAs, CNMWs, NPs and DNPs are part of the solution; as well as well-trained limited licensed providers like podiatrists, dentists, optometrists and psychologists; along with walk-in, on-site and retail medical clinics, etc?


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2 Responses

  1. “Doctors live under the illusion that their patients are super-loyal and would never go anywhere else, but there’s not much data to show that’s true. It doesn’t take much to get somebody to move to another doctor when there is money involved.”

    John Meigs Jr MD
    [Family Physician]
    Centreville, Alabama
    via Ann Miller RN MHA


  2. Social Media?

    This article was very informative. However, I think one of the most significant factors eroding most of the relationships between others (especially medical professionals) is social media!

    Social media has fundamentally changed how we interact with one another in a personal and professional way. Once someone begins searching for articles on misconduct or crazy stories about people’s negative medical experience then Facebook, Instagram, etc. will plug that into the algorithm to continue to show that type of material because it keeps the patient engaged on their app – all the time not knowing (or maybe they do know) they are eroding people’s faith or confidence in medical professionals as a whole.

    Some research on this is becoming more popular, but one that showed a little evidence can be found here –>



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