May 1999 Table of Contents

Letters

Two-way communication



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Fam Pract Manag. 1999 May;6(5):13.

To the Editor:

The tone of the article “Why I Fired My Family Doctor” disturbed me. As humbling as it is to serve as someone's personal physician, we are not our patients' employees to be hired and fired. We are people serving other people.

Patient X had a compendium of complaints (including being scheduled for a 10-minute physical), but it seems that the patient may have been quick to judge the physician. Many of the problems sounded more like mix-ups at the front desk or conflicts with insurers, not mistakes by the doctor. I'm bothered that the patient made no attempt to address the problems constructively; perhaps the physician had no idea they were occurring. Instead of writing an anonymous article, Patient X should have written to the physician and discussed the complaints, enabling a more constructive approach to the problem.

Only if we fail with gracious dialogue can I accept that patients and physicians can't be partners with each other. Both sides must try.

Copyright © 1999 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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