Doctor-Patient Relationships

May 15, 2017 Issue
Providing Trauma-Informed Care [Curbside Consultation]

Family physicians commonly care for survivors of trauma, but they may not always realize it. Trauma, which can affect any patient regardless of age or sex, is broadly defined as the experience of violence or victimization, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, loss, d...

Mar 1, 2016 Issue
When Physician Family Members Are Involved in Patients' Care [Curbside Consultation]

It is not unusual for physicians to care for patients who have physician family members. This can be advantageous for patients, their families, and the clinical team because physician family members often better understand the clinical situation, its severity, and the treatment options. They can als...

Apr 15, 2015 Issue
Cultural Competence Education for Health Care Professionals [Cochrane for Clinicians]

Low-quality evidence suggests that training health care professionals in patient-centered communication improves the engagement of patients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in their health care. Interventions that were primarily educational appeared to be ineffective.

Nov 1, 2013 Issue
Talking with Children About a Parent's Serious Illness [Curbside Consultation]

It is not uncommon for children to have parents who have cancer. Although parents may be understandably apprehensive about discussing a serious illness, children want and need to know what is happening. It is strongly recommended that children be involved and informed in the illness and death of a parent.

Jul 1, 2013 Issue
Text Message Appointment Reminders [Cochrane for Clinicians]

Text message reminders increase attendance at health care appointments compared with no reminders or postal reminders. They are as effective as telephone call reminders but are less expensive.

Jun 1, 2013 Issue
Caring for Colleagues, VIPs, Friends, and Family Members [Curbside Consultation]

There may be no higher professional honor than being asked to care for a colleague, a “very important person” (VIP), a friend, or a family member. However, these requests can be problematic if they are not addressed properly. The following strategies can help physicians avoid pitfalls when faced wit...

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.

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