What would you like more of in your relationship with your doctor?

A survey finds that doctors think patient health is improved by a long-term relationship with a physician. They also wish patients would show them more appreciation and respect. Today’s Question: What would you like more of in your relationship with your doctor?

  • Wade

    I would like the doctors to have more time to to research new literature and stay current with medical technology and advancements.

    Medicare and the bottom dollar has pressured them to squeeze so many patients into a day. They have no time to learn new therapies and stay up to date with the current literature.

    It’s almost a daily occurrence for me to have a conversation with a doctor that hasn’t even read and become familiar with literature that is 5-10 years old. Let alone last years literature. It’s sad and disappointing that people are being treated and even mis-treated with outdated techniques and treatments. On top of that the normal parameters have changed so much, many patients are slipping through the cracks without being diagnosed with a treatable illness. They’ll be back sometime after it has progressed and then needs to be treated retroactively instead of prevented (which is much more effective and cost efficient).

  • Barb

    Having just moved, I dread going through the process of elimination again to find the right doctor for myself. I appreciated my previous doctors detailed record-keeping so she could be right up to speed with my history, she followed up after getting test/lab results and seemed genuinely interested in improving my overall health instead of just treating symptoms. I do believe a long-term relationship with a family practitioner is a good idea. It makes me feel more and accountable and motivated to live healthier.

  • Craig

    The survey results show what everybody, not just physicians, want.

    It’s difficult to build a relationship with a physician when they can spend only five to ten minutes with you at a time. As for respect, should you respect your physician any more than your mechanic, teacher, or anyone else you go to for help? I appreciate them all.

    Yesterday I spent several hours with a physician who is new to me in an effort to find a solution to a nagging problem others have not been able to help me solve. Last night, he actually called me at home to find out if I’d thought of anything else I needed to tell him about after I’d left his office.

    Now that’s someone I respect and want to build a long-term relationship with.

    By the way, he’s an experienced physician who left a large health care provider a number of years ago and went into private practice.

  • Jill

    I would like to be taken seriously. I have a history of mental illness, and often doctors treat me with skepticism, as if I’m being a hypochondriac.

  • steve

    i think that doctors are under pressure and you need to get more input-there should more emphasis on wellness/holistic living and exercise!

  • Elizabeth Hall

    I will be repeating a lot of what people are saying, but feel compelled to still write. My father, Dr. James K. Hall, M.D died in a Mercy Flight plane crash in Lake Michigan last July. He was accompanying a friend/cancer patient to the Mayo Clinic from Alma, Michigan to Rochester. While the whole community feels a loss of a good doctor, they feel they lost one of their best friends. At 67 years old, he still made house calls, had delivered over 1,000 babies (and sang to each one!) and would stop anything he was doing to “listen” to anyone (even if not a patient) in need of a ear.

    I think doctors need to love their job, they need to love their patients, they need be “servant leaders” and each moment, as they chose to work in the field of caring for others, they need to focus on healing (on so many levels). Just the simple fact of listening for an extra minute, as we have heard on this program, ultimately creates a sense of trust.

    While there are not many doctors that will still make house calls and happily work all holidays so others can have time off, we can hope that a simple gesture of a smile and and a few extra minutes of explaining procedures will help our trust in the healthcare system and those who are supposed to care for us.

    Ellie Hall (elizabeth)

    (this was posted on the fb page too)

  • Joel

    In order to fundamentally change the dr – pt relationship we need to change the way we think – we need to change the purpose of medicine from fixing accidents to supporting wellness.

    When this purpose is embraced we can see how to change the system to align with this purpose. For example, we could require insurance companies to pay for all expenses involved in pt care vs getting paid for every pill, test, procedure, etc. This would focus system on prevention and support wellness. Clinicians would be encouraged to be paid by salary vs like a machinist or worker in the sex trade, etc.

  • Jon

    I simply would like to find a doctor who doesn’t leave me feeling empty. I moved here recently and the first two doctors I’ve seen were a disaster, rushing through exams, leaving me waiting while they saw other patients in the middle of our visit. I’m at the point now I don’t even want to make the effort to find a decent doctor. That’s pretty sad.

  • David

    Upfront cost and how much they are going to over-charge that insurance won’t pay for. I don’t except my mechanic doing a lot of work without telling me a very accurate estimate, my doctor should do the same. There is nothing worse than getting an unexpected bill for several hundred dollars for a procedure that was supposed to be covered by insurance.

    That said, now it’s a moot point. My company switch to an insurance with a yearly deductable of $2500. Like I have that! I may as well not have insurance. I certainly won’t be seeing any doctor any time soon, and when I do I’ll be shopping around for the cheapest one. I am curious if I ever came to using up that deductable if I’d still be billed for over-charges not covered by insurance. I guess this is an insurance complaints, not doctors, but I don’t believe doctors are any more innocent in this medical mess we have in this country.

  • Mary

    I would like to be able to see my doctor when I need to. If I have a non life threatening illness, I have to speak with a nurse before I can make an appointment. I am then told it will be at least two weeks before I can see the doctor. With my OBGYN, it is always at least a 6 week wait for an appointment. If he has an emergency, or even a scheduled delivery, he can blow me off and I have to re-schedule. Of course, I am informed of this after I have already taken time off from work and adjusted my personal time. For this reason I put off seeing either of them for as long as possible, because its too much of a hassle to get an appointment.

  • DCM

    My doctor is incredible. She always has plenty of time for the appointment. She listens to and adresses every concern thoroughly, and often times follows up with a phone call. I always leave the clinic feeling like I received a solid diagnosis or answer. My doctor encourages a holistic approach to well-being, instead of just prescribing drugs. As far as the billing, our family has good insurance but I would gladly pay the going rate for that kind of care. That said, I also drive about 50 minutes from my home to see my doctor. It is worth my time because of the confidence I have in the care I receive.

  • Eiolgj

    There is a major doctor shortage resulting in too few doctors available for most positions. Therefore clinics offer very good salaries and usually a signing bonus

    However that means the doctor has to see A LOT of patients to pay his/her own salary plus the support staff. So there is that pressure on many clinics . Not good. I’m married to a doctor who chose a situation of less pressure but way less pay. He can give a lot of time to each patient due to this being a govt clinic. But he doubts that the income he generates for the clinic pays his costs. The paper work takes several hours each day, though it is on the computer . He gets phone calls and emails each week with job offers , which proves to me that there is a shortage of docs.

  • Rose

    Listen and don’t fuss. I would like my doctor to respect my choices and not force me to go through tests or come into the office for followup when I don’t want or need it.

    When it comes to health care and doctors, I am a minimalist . From time to time, I do need refills of a standard perscription medicine and don’t apprciate having to go through the motions in order to get these refills.

  • Mary

    The ability to use email to get a question answered. I don’t like having to explain things to the receptionist and then playing phone tag with my doctors nurse.

  • Kirk

    There is a ‘spiritual teaching’ that in essence says “whatever you feel others are withholding from you is what you are withholding from them”. Could this possibly be more pertinent to this situation?!

  • Kirk

    To clearify: My previous comment was in respose to the doctors’ desire to be shown more respect, and appreciation.

  • Amanda

    Time! I like my doctor, but I feel like she races through appointments. I’m not sure she would know my name if it weren’t for the chart.

  • DNA

    Hugs, nootropics, Medical Marijuana, and entheogens complete with prescriptions and integrally informed advice to healthy living.

    Alas, I have no MD except friends and clients. Fortunately hugs come with every meeting.

  • Mindy

    Doctors with much more training in alternative medical procedures and vitamin and nutritional therapy. When I can I listen to a doctor on the radio who has the balance that I would like to find in a doctor in my rural area.

  • Angela

    I wouldn’t change a thing about my relationship with my primary doctor. She listens, takes my thoughts into consideration, asks me what I think about a particular treatment,she tells me she gets excited when she see’s my name on the schedule. I go to her for everything. There was one thing that was beyond her capabilities so I was sent to a specialist. Even though she no longer treats that area she still inquires as to how things are every time I see her. She also inquires about the stability of my financial and housing situation (I had no income and was homeless when I first saw her). I know I’m one of the very lucky few and I wouldn’t trade her for anything!


    I have daughter who is overweight. She is younger than 10 years old and we have been going to doctors for her obesity since she was three years old. They have had us go through diabetes testing, MRI’s, CAT Scans, and Genetic Testing. We have been with a weight management clinic at a major hospital since we began this program. She has had her tonsils and anodes removed. She has also undergone a sleep study. We have seen Endocrinologists, Psychologists, and Dieticians. Short of going to the Mayo Clinic, we have done it all. I just wish the process of diagnosing a problem was simpler.

  • raygor

    I am blessed beyond measure compared to

    the majority of people who wrote in. When I

    see my doctor I do my best to be of good

    cheer no matter how I am feeling. I come in

    prepared with questions that I have. I come in

    with proposed solutions to issues that I came to discuss. That is my responsibility.

    I am a big user of health care because of

    several chronic conditions. I am also very

    fortunate in that the doctors I see most are

    on electronic filing system.(I have seen 3

    different drs. in one day spread over a 5 hr.

    period, they all had my medical info including the

    same day diagnosis.) When my doctor has

    been delayed or takes another call he apologizes. I am well aware that there are

    other people in far worse straits than I am.

    The other thing I do for my primary physicians

    is to keep a relationship with them. If I can’t

    see my regular primary physician I have

    another in backup. I make sure I see the

    same doctors.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I would like my physician to be a part of a health care system that’s based on promoting wellness, not profiteering from illness. The problem is, I’m not willing to move to Canada to get that.

  • Patrick

    Less useless tests and proceedures that drive up health care costs, enrich insurance companies, and embellish their dossier.

    And admitting mistakes is beyond their ability.

  • Dumestre

    This blog is a great idea.

  • Sara

    As I reflect on the interview of Brenda Child and David Treurer, their concern around how the American Indians through Dee Brown’s book were referred to as “victims of history” puzzled me. Our perception of American Indians as victims may be due to stereotyping and ethnocentrism. American’s who are focused on living the “American Dream” may not realize that the culture of American Indian’s does not include this focus and in fact their focus on spirituality and wholeness within may be behind their choice to live simple lives and stay on the reservations. These cultural differences during the early years of America may have lead to the violence between the settlers and the Indians.

  • Gwen

    I was grateful the first caller brought up the writing of history, regarding there is a plethora of information when the culture is a hero, but when they have committed unnecessary violent acts on other cultures the information it lacking or tainted..

  • Kathy H.

    I was intrigued to hear the different points made by the
    callers and the guests. Dee Brown’s book is a great example of what happens when one challenges the norm, and presents information from a different point of view or cultural context. It is great to see people continue to question what one has learned about the historyof the Native Indians, and to not just accept what has been told to many people through our academic studies.

  • Stephen M

    I like listening to the guests and the callers. Most people never seem to consider what the native peoples went through as the non-natives began to expand across the continent. My great-grandmother was Cherokee and intermarried with a man of European descent. My paternal grandmother had the look of a native american and I was at least 11 before I realized that she was a different racial blend than the other ladies she went to church with. My sons did not think that my descriptions of “Mamaw” where accurate until the day my oldest son saw a photo of her holding him when he was a baby and he asked, “Who is the Indian holding me in this photo?” I told him who she was and he was surprised.
    My dad had made it a point to make sure my brother and I knew about the darker side of native displacement so we would not be unaware of how people can treat each other but he also emphasized how important it is to treat others the way you would want to be treated. His efforts made me understand at an early age that the perception of native people often found in popular culture was not accurate.
    Years later, while in Honduras I had the chance to visit Porte de Cortes (named for the Spanish explorer who landed there). I found a plaque that described Cortes as a blonde haired blue eyed man who mistreated the native people. One thing is clear to me; when people allow greed to motivate them instead of a concern for other crimes against humanity are sure to follow.