We’re all aware of cycles in life, and how philosophies (and fashion) can come into favor, recede, and then return again. For concepts that survive the test of time, each cycle can serve to add clarity and utility to fundamentally good ideas.
I encountered a paper from the Annals of Family Medicine recently (“Understanding Healing Relationships in Primary Care”, Ann Fam Med July 1, 2008 vol. 6 no. 4 315-322) that provides an example of cycles in thought regarding the provider-patient relationship. It’s worth a few minutes of your time to consider it’s conclusions.
In any relationship, there is a balance of power (or perhaps an imbalance). For the provider-patient relationship, the balance should be tuned to achieve optimal outcomes for the patient. The article above outlines three concepts that can be applied to foster a relationship that supports health and healing. First, providers can establish a bond of trust through listening and acceptance. Second, providers can understand the power they wield in the relationship, and focus on using it to the patient’s benefit. Third, the patient should perceive a long term commitment to care and support from the provider.
The concepts may not be new, but the effort to bring them into clearer focus is worth pursuing.
(Original post on September 3, 2016)