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There are reasons why it is exceptionally important that primary care physicians develop strong doctor-patient relationship skills.
The most striking is that primary care physicians tend to make referrals to specialists and may coordinate care with specialists.
Patients who feel that their physicians treat them with respect and fairness, communicate well and engage with them outside of the office setting are more active in their own health care, finds a new study published in the journal .
The study looked at how role relationships between patients and their physicians, which traditionally have followed a passive-patient and dominant-physician model, affect patient engagement. with chronic illnesses about their experiences with their physicians, as well as about their socioeconomic status, overall health and how they make use of health services.
For most physicians, the establishment of good rapport with a patient is important.
Some medical specialties, such as psychiatry and family medicine, emphasize the physician–patient relationship more than others, such as pathology or radiology.
Getting patients to be more active in their own care is important and this can be decreased by a power differential in the relationship between physician and patient, said Judith Schaefer, MPH, senior research associate at the Mac Coll Center for Health Care Innovation in Seattle.
A patient must have confidence in the competence of their physician and must feel that they can confide in him or her.
Physicians set the tone for making the patient aware that they have some control over their health, said lead study author Jeffrey A. "The patient takes a cue from what the doctor does.
If the doctor conveys an all-knowing ‘I make the decisions’ attitude, the patient will revert to a passive role," he said.
Additionally, the doctor and patient's values and perspectives about disease, life, and time available play a role in building up this relationship.
A strong relationship between the doctor and patient will lead to frequent, quality information about the patient's disease.