Doctor-Patient Relationships

Apr 1, 2007 Issue
Physicians as Role Models [Curbside Consultation]

The basic questions asked in the scenario are whether physicians should always “practice what they preach,” and whether a physician's personal life should be accessible and relevant to patients. Professional role models are important.

Oct 1, 2006 Issue
Facilitating Shared Decision Making with Patients [Curbside Consultation]

American society values autonomy and the belief that competent adults have the right to make virtually any decision pertaining to their health care. As health care professionals, we have a responsibility to try to make sure that our patients are mentally capable, well-informed, and free of coercion.

Mar 1, 2006 Issue
Improving Outpatient Referrals to Secondary Care [Cochrane for Clinicians]

The interventions that have the best supporting evidence are the distribution of guidelines with standard referral forms and the involvement of specialist consultants in education. Disseminating guidelines without forms and providing physicians with feedback on referral patterns are not proven to be effective.

Nov 15, 2005 Issue
Management of the Difficult Patient [Article]

All physicians must care for some patients who are perceived as difficult because of behavioral or emotional aspects that affect their care. Difficulties may be traced to patient, physician, or health care system factors. Patient factors include psychiatric disorders, personality disorders, and subc...

Nov 1, 2005 Issue
Patients' Preconceptions and Convictions About Antibiotics [Curbside Consultation]

Multiple studies have demonstrated that patients who seek care for respiratory ailments often expect to receive antibiotics, and that patients or parents who expect antibiotics receive them more often than those who do not.

Oct 1, 2005 Issue
A Sex Offender as a Patient [Curbside Consultation]

Before addressing the particulars of this scenario, it may be helpful to review the current status of notification laws, which have evolved in the last decade. It is important to keep in mind that the presumptive purpose of community notification through registration is solely to inform the public, ...

Jan 1, 2005 Issue
Is This Patient Really Incompetent? [Curbside Consultation]

This physician is trying to balance his duty to the patient and the legally appointed guardian and finds it difficult to know how to approach the patient. The physician is particularly puzzled because of his “near-normal” interactions with her. This commentary will discuss the legal role of a guardi...

May 1, 2004 Issue
The Right to Know--But at What Cost? [Curbside Consultation]

This case scenario, submitted by the patient’s son, brings up three interesting ethical questions. The first question involves whether it is ever ethically justifiable to withhold information from patients, and if so, under what circumstances? The second question is: who decides whether invasive med...

Aug 1, 2003 Issue
A Shoe-in for Malpractice [Curbside Consultation]

The questions being asked in this case scenario can be consolidated into one, “Should I continue as this patient's physician?” An attorney's typical answer to such a query is often a cautious “It depends.” In this case, a more definite answer is appropriate: “No.”

Apr 1, 2003 Issue
Should I Give Money to My Patients? [Curbside Consultation]

As a rule, physicians should avoid giving money directly to patients. Like most decisions in medical practice, the determination to give a patient money must be weighed carefully, and each case must be evaluated individually.

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