Communication skills and high patient-satisfaction scores can give hospitals a competitive edge as well as reduce malpractice claims, says Debra Roter, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore."
Monday, December 6, 2010
Survey finds gap in doctor-patient communication - USATODAY.com
"Only 48% of patients said they were always involved in decisions about their treatment"
"Emphasis on better communication has increased in recent years as the medical community has become more aware of its effect on patient healing. Since 1995, U.S. medical students have been required to get training in communication skills. And in 2005, the United States Medical Licensing Exam began to include testing on interpersonal and communication skills.
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With most doctors, my involvement in decisions about treatment was limited to "take it or leave it".
I had an argument with a doctor about something he wanted to prescribe which I'd been told never to take due to an adverse reaction to a related drug. (Two days later, another doctor inquired "are they trying to kill you?" and concurred that I should never take anything in that family.)
Yet, despite the fact that it might be fatal, the doctor kept insisting "it'll be fine" and refused to change the prescription, even after I made it clear that I was not going to fill the prescription. From his arrogant viewpoint, he won the argument because he was able to leave the room before I could make him do what I wanted. However, he lost the patient because it was obvious that his ego was more important than my health.