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Patient-Physician Relationship Most Powerful Diagnostic Tool

January 07, 2020
by Julie Parry

Benefits of a good relationship between a patient and their physicians ‘cannot be overstated,’ but in many instances, is lacking. Research has shown this rapport can affect diagnosis, adherence, and outcomes.

In their new editorial, “Connecting With Patients – The Missing Links,” Yale Department of Internal Medicine’s Lisa Sanders, MD; and Auguste H. Fortin VI, MD, MPH, MACP; along with Gordon D. Schiff, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital outlined practices for physicians and patients to undertake to improve their interaction.

The trio comments on the Special Communication authored by the VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s Donna Zulman, MD, MS and colleagues, and applaud their ‘repackaging’ the five ‘well known’ principles in the piece, but cite current barriers to implementation, such as the poorly designed electronic medical record, insufficient appointment length, patients with challenging conditions, and other evidence of a lack of support within the current medical system.

“Physicians need to address the current medical system and recognize the patient-physician relationship as the most important diagnostic tool,” said the editorialists.

Read the complete editorial in JAMA.

The Section of General Internal Medicine is committed to the core missions of patient care, research, education, and community health from the “generalist” perspective and is one of the 11 sections with the Department of Internal Medicine. To learn more about their mission and work, visit General Internal Medicine.

Submitted by Julie Parry on January 07, 2020