The New Rules of Modern Medicine | Psychology Today

An interesting list:

  1. Time is in short supply
  2. Discussions should be concise
  3. Emotions are generally discouraged
  4. Patients are supposed to be compliant
  5. Questions are tolerated but not overtly encouraged
  6. Though some physicians try to incorporate a collaborative model, most still expect to be the authority
  7. Responsibility for health lies within the patient
  8. Aggression tends to be expressed more directly
  9. Uncertainty is generally not tolerated

My own experience is more nuanced, which may reflect the longer-term nature of cancer treatment and the relationships that our built-up. In particular, while the emotional side is generally handled by the team social worker, questions are welcome, health is a shared responsibility, have seen little aggression, and given the nature of cancer, uncertainty is part of the package. As my clinic is a group practice, there is more collaboration among them but human nature being what it is, hierarchy exists. And we are lucky to have a good family doctor who, although busy, gives us the necessary time to discuss and question.

Some good advice:

So speak your mind when talking with physicians. Just do so concisely. Treat appointments with doctors like you would a business meeting. Have a brief agenda. Present your questions at the beginning of the meeting. Be clear, concise, and limit TMI (too much information) regarding emotions. Physicians have a job to do, and in this modern age, they are often focused on the body. Psychologists and other therapists are often better suited to have long-term emotional discussions.

The New Rules of Modern Medicine | Psychology Today.


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