• The doctor – patient relationship

    The doctor - patient relationship should be a friendly one

    The doctor – patient relationship should be a friendly one



    As a doctor, I face this question on a daily basis:”Doc, we just found out my dad/mum/bro/sis/wife has this —- disease. How do we get cure for this problem?”

    Over the years, I have realised that, irrespective of the underlying disease, three conditions have to be met for successful treatment.

    Supposing you find out you have cancer; the first thing you must then do is to find out the address of a cancer specialist,  and visit him.

    The next,  equally mandatory thing you must do is to listen to him and follow his directions.

    But before all this can happen, the MOST crucial thing you MUST do – and here is where the vast majority falter – is to REALISE you have the condition, accept the diagnosis, and be motivated to get the appropriate treatment for the condition.

    This is true, in fact, for every situation in our lives.
    When we don’t accept that our conditions in life are not the way we want them to be, we are hardly likely to seek advice to improve it, or to listen to someone willing to help us improve it.

    In my experience,  I have faced patients even with very serious illness and with very poor quality of life – yet they are not in the proper frame of mind to listen or accept advice.

    For such people, I make sincere efforts to help them understand their situation; but this is not met with universal success. In that situation, I accept it as God’s decree and that person’s destiny.
    I never give up on anybody; but I do take a step back to let the person evaluate his situation and come to terms with it.
    I have found that is the only way you can let the person have his dignity, and preserve your’s, too. You can never convince anybody against his own sense of dignity.

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