Doctor-Patient Relationships

Mar 15, 2013 Issue
Managing Difficult Encounters: Understanding Physician, Patient, and Situational Factors [Article]

Family physicians commonly find themselves in difficult clinical encounters. These encounters often leave the physician feeling frustrated. The patient may also be dissatisfied with these encounters because of unmet needs, unfulfilled expectations, and unresolved medical issues. Difficult encounters...

Mar 15, 2013 Issue
Using Mindfulness Techniques to Improve Difficult Clinical Encounters [Editorials]

Difficult clinical encounters add to other persistent sources of stress for physicians today, increasing the risk of burnout. Interventions focusing on mindfulness, or the ability to be purposefully attentive and present in every moment, are promising tools to help physicians manage difficult clinic...

Sep 1, 2012 Issue
Care of a Sexually Active Adolescent [Curbside Consultation]

The American Medical Association's Principles of Medical Ethics clearly state that physicians “shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law.” However, the laws in American jurisdictions vary with respect to a minor's ability to consent to medical treatment. Many ...

Mar 1, 2012 Issue
A Case of Medical Uncertainty [Curbside Consultation]

Medical uncertainty (i.e., not knowing how to proceed with a patient-related problem) can stem from any number of potential situations in daily clinical practice. The causes of uncertainty are many, but the feeling of stress or discomfort it creates is a familiar constant, though it may vary in intensity.

Oct 1, 2011 Issue
Interacting with Patients' Family Members During the Office Visit [Article]

The physician-patient relationship is part of the patient’s larger social system and is influenced by the patient’s family. A patient’s family member can be a valuable source of health information and can collaborate in making an accurate diagnosis and planning a treatment strategy during the office...

Jul 1, 2011 Issue
Should I Be "Friends" with My Patients on Social Networking Web Sites? [Curbside Consultation]

First of all, kudos for getting involved in social media with the goal of promoting the health of your patients and collaborating with colleagues.

Jan 1, 2011 Issue
Comforting a Grieving Parent [Curbside Consultation]

The death of a child is the most devastating loss any parent can face. If physicians can help even a little, we will have done something of lasting value. Most of the things we can do may seem small to us, but are appreciated by the parents.

Jul 1, 2010 Issue
Improving Sensitivity to Patients from Other Cultures [Curbside Consultation]

In this scenario, the physician is facing several challenges: making a patient from another culture feel at ease; managing a female patient's discomfort with a male physician; and recognizing the patient's chief concern. Physicians often treat patients from cultures different from their own.

Apr 1, 2008 Issue
A Morally Reprehensible Patient [Curbside Consultation]

Patients who present to the clinic without having followed the treatment plan endorsed at previous visits may frustrate us on both professional and personal levels.

Aug 1, 2007 Issue
Should Physicians Accept Gifts from Patients? [Curbside Consultation]

Social norms ingrained from early child-hood usually prescribe a polite “thank you” when a gift is received. However, the social norms that govern the relationship between the physician and patient, called professional boundaries, may require a different and more reasoned response.

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