Do you ignore the patient’s questions while you’re thinking about the diagnosis, or have you started writing a prescription in preparation for saying goodbye to another patient? This is one of the most important professional mistakes that doctors make when dealing with patients , which leaves a negative impression on the patient, even if the treatment was correct and the patient’s condition improved. But this is not the only mistake that annoys patients with doctors. What are the most important mistakes that doctors make when dealing with patients? With patients?
Mistakes made by some doctors when dealing with patients
In order to be a successful doctor, superior to your peers, the patient must be satisfied with his meeting with you, not just receive appropriate treatment and improve his condition. The following is an explanation of the most important mistakes that doctors may make when dealing with patients, and that negatively affect the reputation of doctors :
1. Ignoring the patient’s questions
The patient is certainly not happy when he does not receive a satisfactory answer to his questions. Rather, he may feel that this is a kind of neglect and disrespect towards him, especially since most patients have questions to ask about their medical condition, the time the treatment will take, and other questions.
Therefore, the doctor must listen carefully to his patient, and have room for questions. Some patients ask many questions, and they may be repetitive at times, but answering the patient’s questions is definitely better than ignoring him. Because ignoring makes the doctor’s reputation not good sometimes.
Most patients prefer to discuss with the doctor and find answers to their questions, but no one likes being ignored. From experience, many patients have expressed their satisfaction when having a discussion with the doctor about their medical condition, while they were never satisfied with the doctor ignoring them despite his experience and correct diagnosis.
2. Favoritism or bias
Some patients come to the doctor on the recommendation of a doctor friend, or a relative of the doctor, which makes the doctor care about these patients more than others, and gives them double care compared to other patients.
This is what some patients noticed in a study conducted to monitor the mistakes that doctors make when dealing with patients . One of the patients who came to the doctor after a recommendation from a friend said: “The doctor examined my condition carefully and treated me with respect, and I believe he did that because we had a mutual friend who recommended that he treat me well.”
Therefore, the doctor should care for all patients to the same extent. Patients always talk about the extent of care they received, and the way the doctor treated them, and whether the patient came from one of your friends or not. Unifying treatment and making it the finest possible with all patients creates trust between you and them. And they always need you.
3. Failure to show appropriate empathy for the patient
One of the frequent complaints voiced by patients is not spending enough time with the doctor, and the doctor not showing enough sympathy for them, or rather the doctor only being interested in writing the prescription after hearing the patient’s complaint, or even not letting the patient complete the complaint, and focusing only on writing the prescription. Medical and provide it to him.
This is read by the patient as a kind of lack of sympathy for him. It is true that he got the prescription he was hoping for, but patients have more aspirations than that. Patients like to be able to talk comfortably about their condition, and for the doctor to discuss with them and show some sympathy for them, not just To prescribe medicine for them.
4. Poor non-verbal communication between doctor and patient
One of the mistakes that doctors may make without realizing it is focusing on trying to diagnose the patient without paying attention to communicating with the patient appropriately first. The doctor only pays attention or focuses on something he is writing, or a specific place he is examining on the patient’s body, without caring about communicating with him face to face, or even asking his permission or informing him of what he is doing precisely.
Such actions create a gap between the doctor and the patient that is difficult to bridge. The absence of non-verbal communication between the patient and the doctor indicates the fragility of the relationship between them, and the doctor’s desire only to perform his task with the patient without first establishing appropriate communication.
Here is a secret, dear doctor. The patient does not come just to get the medicine, but rather he watches the doctor’s movement and behavior with him. If he feels satisfied and you gain his trust, the patient becomes your companion. He comes to you for advice even if you are not specialized in what he came to you for, and he recommends that his relatives and friends deal with you without Other than you in medical consultations. So do not hesitate to welcome the patient, listen to him well, and communicate with him face to face.
5. Scaring the patient or creating anxiety within him
Fear and anxiety may develop in the patient if the doctor does not inform him of the exact disease that afflicts him, or if the doctor tries to hide the problem that the patient has. One of the participants in a study that investigated errors in doctors’ dealings with patients recounts her experience as follows:
“I had surgery to treat gallstones. The doctor examined me and told me that the pain was nothing to worry about, and that I did not need surgery now, but that I would remain in the hospital for 2-3 days. To trace the cause of the pain, after an hour the doctor took me to the operating room, and I was surprised that he would now perform the operation.”
Here the doctor did not inform the patient about the problem and that she needed surgical intervention, but then he surprised her with the necessity of surgery. The question here is what if the doctor told her from the beginning? Wasn’t the patient more reassured and less afraid?
Likewise, the doctor should not tell the patient the diagnosis of his condition (he may be diagnosed with a fatal disease) without showing him optimism, even a little, and should not frighten him when he tells him the diagnosis. Therefore, the doctor should be wise in his behavior and careful in choosing the words he will speak to the patient. So that he does not develop fear or anxiety, and his experience with the doctor becomes a nightmare that he never wants to go through again.
6. Lack of attention to the patient’s complaints
Let us agree that some patients deviate from the usual pattern, and sometimes talk about problems other than the health problem for which they came.
The truth of the matter is that these patients may think that this is part of the illness complaint that the doctor should also pay attention to, and if the doctor is not able to distract the patient, or try to make him focus on the illness complaint only, then there is no harm in showing some interest in his complaint in general. As for ignoring Patients do not like it.
This is one thing. The second thing is that some doctors may ignore the patient’s complaint about his illness, so he rushes to write the prescription without listening to the patient’s complaint carefully and in detail.
It is true that the doctor may be an expert in the disease that the patient came to diagnose, but every patient is a human being, and for the first time he meets you, his experience with you must be wonderful, amazing, and he talks about it with all people, and about the extent of your interest in his complaints and your listening to him without appearing Annoyed by that.
So try to hear the patient’s complaint and leave him until he finishes it, then give him the prescription. Because some patients sometimes see the doctor’s lack of interest in their complaints as the doctor’s condescension toward the patient.
7. Disrespect for the patient’s time
Some patients may wait for long periods of time in doctors’ offices, or rather the doctor does not keep his appointments with the patients, and this is a lack of respect for the patient’s time, which makes him extremely upset at the mere thought of visiting the doctor again.
Therefore, the doctor must be punctual in his appointments and adhere to them with patients. Taking care of their time because they have other things to occupy them as well, and the doctor is not the only one who is busy.
8. Ignoring patient privacy
The patient should have his privacy. He should not be examined in the hospital in full view of everyone, nor should he be subjected to a test or examination without permission. The patient also has the right to choose the treatment method that suits him.
The doctor should present the patient with the available treatment options, then the patient chooses from among them what suits him best. As for limiting the choices to only one type that the doctor sees, patients do not like this. There is no harm in the doctor also telling him the advantages and disadvantages of each type of treatment, and which of these types is most appropriate for him, but always leave the choice in the patient’s hands, and advise him if his choice is unsuccessful.
The basics of a good relationship between doctors and patients
The doctor’s relationship with the patient should not be devoid of some basics: In order for the relationship to last and become satisfactory for both parties, such as:
- Communication: Good communication with the patient, and showing sufficient attention to him and his medical condition. This makes the patient feel satisfied and makes him confident in his doctor’s decisions.
- Doctor’s empathy: Some studies have suggested that showing the doctor’s empathy for the patient helps improve therapeutic results, as well as the patient’s quality of life.
- Trust: If the patient is confident in the doctor, he will see no harm in elaborating on his complaints and consulting the doctor about what happens to him. Therefore, building trust with the patient is very important, through good communication, showing sympathy with him, and listening to his complaints without boredom or boredom.
- Informed consent: Do not take a procedure in the patient’s life without his prior approval first, whether it is a therapeutic procedure such as a surgical intervention, or a diagnostic procedure such as imaging tests. The doctor must be honest with the patient and explain to him what he will do, highlight the available options, and leave the patient the freedom to agree or reject.
Does correct communication with the patient contribute to improving his condition?
Yes, definitely, and this is clearly evident in the case of:
- Chronic diseases: It has been proven that patients with chronic diseases are able to deal with their diseases better when they receive good treatment from the doctor and appropriate communication for them. The patient also tries to adhere to the doctor’s instructions precisely, which makes the results much better, compared to the absence of appropriate communication with them. The patient or making mistakes in dealing with him, even if the diagnosis and treatment are correct.
- Mental illnesses: Results also improve on the level of psychological illnesses. Good communication between the psychiatrist and the patient helps the patient deal well with his psychological illness and overcome the symptoms, especially since the treatment of some psychological illnesses is based on a type of communication first between the doctor and the patient (cognitive therapy). behavioral) before resorting to medications.