Much has been written about the positive benefits of communication between patient and physician. Today, in the increasingly time-pressured medical work environment, physicians are pushed to see more patients in less time. Patients are moved thru clinics as if on an assembly line. There are fewer opportunities for conversation and many patients and providers never really get to know each other on a “human” and interpersonal level. Care often suffers due to the fact that the patient and provider are unable to really connect. The connection that develops when patient and clinician are afforded the ability to spend adequate time in consultation leads to a collaborative approach to disease management. Sadly, this is lacking in medicine today.
I recently blogged about the psychological effects of ICD recalls. In that blog I mentioned my use of Shock and Recall Plans with my patients in an effort to ease anxiety when these events do inevitably happen. I was fortunate enough to have comments and questions concerning these plans left by several highly engaged readers (some of which are ICD patients). Much of my “plans” have been inspired by Dr. Sam Sears who has done pioneering work in this arena.