Sunday, October 09, 2005

Why I prefer patients who ask questions

I just received a thoughtful email from a patient, who said - " I drive my current doctor crazy. I question everything and I just can’t follow orders until I actually agree to follow them. " Many doctors still prefer passive patients who agree to do what they are told to. Unfortunately, what they don't realise is that these quiet passive patients are often the ones who don't "follow orders" - they are the ones who are non-compliant. While it is true that it does take longer to talk to active, questioning patients, they are the ones who are much more co-operative and compliant, once they agree with the treatment plan, because they have played an active part in its formulation !

NB I wonder why we feel that patients need to "follow doctor's orders". This is a hangover from our paternalistic medical model of the past, when patients were treated as children and were expected to do what the doctor told them to ! Today, even children don't listen to their parent's "orders" , so why can't we think of a better term to describe the doctor's advise ?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:21 AM

    My 82 yr mother has a bumpy rash on the palms of her hands and soles of her feet. Her temperature taken was low-94.6 She is experiencing mucle weakness and fatigue. Could this be a sign of a thyroid problem.


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