Doctor-Patient Relationships

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.

Jul 1, 2007 Issue
Responding to a Patient's Request to Pray [Curbside Consultation]

This complex scenario poses many challenges. At first glance, it seems to just be about prayer—should the physician pray with a patient? However, on closer inspection it becomes clear that this scenario is about successfully balancing the patient's beliefs and stated needs with the physician's belie...

May 1, 2007 Issue
How Do EHRs Affect the Physician-Patient Relationship? [Curbside Consultation]

In the United States, 28 percent of primary care physicians use EHRs, and another 31 percent plan to implement the system within the next year.

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