Handling a disease requires Knowledge…..“Handling a patient requires Wisdom”.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and does not consist only of the absence of disease or infirmity.” According to this definition, for a doctor to be referred to as a ‘Healthcare Provider’, he should provide care for the overall health of the patient rather than addressing only the disease. It is more about managing the patient as a ‘whole’.1 

As stated in JAMA (2001)2, “Humanism in medicine is the physician’s attitudes and actions that demonstrate interest in and respect for the patient and that address the patient’s concerns and values. These generally are related to patients’ psychological, social, and spiritual domains”.

So, to manage a patient, the healthcare provider would need to go beyond the domain knowledge of medical science to the holistic approach of patient care. The goal of patient care has to be Wellness with Wholeness. This would be to understand the relation between the body, mind and soul of the human being.

Patient Vs Physician 

The patient speaks about the illness having ideas, expectations and feelings. But the physician understands the disease based on history, examination and investigations.

Patient – Physician Relationship is a special bond where a prospective patient seeks the advice, care, and/or treatment of a physician while the physician has focus on the disease process. Patient has an urge of being heard and understood while the physician looks at the patient with rapidly advanced medical science.

Example: 

Patient: Doctor, I am having dizziness with the medicine. 

Doctor1: Might be your HB has gone down. It’s Ok. (The doctor has seen many similar cases). 

Doctor2: Nothing to worry, Lets get your CBC done and WE will discuss what needs to be done. (Every patient is unique for his concern). 

The patient is satisfied with the second doctor. Reason being he has been heard as per his expectation. This is the difference between managing a disease and handling a patient.

The Human Dimension of Care is of utmost importance The New Model doctor would need to be a Psychologist, Advisor and a Counselor.

References

  1. Dr. Shalini Ratan. “Clinicians to Practice Managers: A Shift is Mindset”, Modern Medicare, October, 2012.
  2. William T. Branch et al.”Teaching the human dimensions of care in clinical settings”. JAMA. 2001; 286(9):1067-1074.

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