Hatred and fear seems to be name of the world today. We either wish to condemn or attribute the situation we are in today by bashing or blaming someone.
This is common even about our relationships with doctors, especially those with a chronic ailment like multiple sclerosis, that has a lot of research and attempts going on. In my case, I have improved radically due to acupuncture and my relationship with my doctor.
When I suggested this to my friend, who is also an MS patient, she said she absolutely hated any alternate therapy. When I asked my friend why seemed to hate this, she replied ”It’s not hatred, it’s fear. I hate all the doctors, whichever therapy they may be practicing. In fact, I hate even my neurologist.”
i was stunned and shocked. If people are starting to fear physicians then we’ve got a real problem. Trust has always been the basis of the doctor-patient relationship. If we can’t trust doctors then we might as well go back to the days of charlatans and quacks. If we can’t trust doctors then the relationship becomes adversarial: We will not tell them what they need to know. Naturally, we cannot really improve as they will not know what they are treating. And vice versa. The doctor will stop being totally open with us because he/she will not be sure about what our reaction with be.
Actually, if we think of it, the doctor-patient relationship has to be one of the most open relationships. Once the patient and physician are brought together, they enter a relationship predicated on the expectations each one on the conduct of the other. The relationship thus formed has substantial implications for how the curing and caring process will be accomplished and the extent to which needs and expectations will be met, satisfaction achieved, and health restored.
The patient’s assessment of the physician’s communication, level of interpersonal treatment, and knowledge of the patient is extremely important. In these times of short visits, short-tempered doctors and patients, and fragmented treatment, all those factors are in jeopardy. Patients who genuinely like their doctors tend to trust them more.
The basic function of the doctor, is to diagnose and treat. It would help if doctors were to follow the following.
1. Doctors should not take money from drug companies as the integrity then is compromised.
2. Doctors should practice good communication and learn to bond with their patients. This will encourage the patients to share all their issues with the doctor.
Patients, from their side should
1. Understand that nobody has all the answers. Doctors don’t know everything, patients don’t always know what they want, and none of us like this fact. We like to think medicine is an exact science but it is not. Basically, medicine is not mathematics.
2. We cannot expect miracles. We have to work with the doctor to restore as much wellness as we can.
In sum, let us all recognize our humanity and work towards leading as complete a life as we can, without obsessing over our illness or expecting miracles.