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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 77-78

Role of doctor-patient association in delivery of holistic medical care

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication4-Mar-2016

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, PO - Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9903.178128

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Role of doctor-patient association in delivery of holistic medical care. J Mahatma Gandhi Inst Med Sci 2016;21:77-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Role of doctor-patient association in delivery of holistic medical care. J Mahatma Gandhi Inst Med Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Jun 4];21:77-8. Available from: https://www.jmgims.co.in/text.asp?2016/21/1/77/178128


The doctor-patient relationship (DPR) is one in which patients voluntarily approach a doctor and thus become a part of a contract that is transferable and may last up to the completion of treatment. [1] DPR deals with both medical and psychological aspects of both the doctor and the patient. [2] Furthermore, knowledge about the community dynamics, community skills and cultural factors associated with health improves doctor-patient interaction and directly leads to increased patient confidence and improved compliance. In fact, a good DPR has been acknowledged as a marker of successful clinical practice and status of the health care. [1],[2]

Over the years, the DPR has changed owing to the commercialization of the health sector, but, even now, it is recommended that the patient should always remain the primary target around which strategies should be developed. [3] Further, it has been identified that irrespective of the similar sociocultural origin, the two components-the doctors and the patients-have different views with regard to health. [2] Findings of the study have shown that parameters such as sociocultural dynamics, [2] poor communication skills of the doctors, [4] use of clinical terminologies by the clinicians, [4] doctors not listening to the complaints of patients [3] and a mismatch between the doctors' objectives and the patients expectations for the doctor [2] have together created a massive impact on the trust level and the bonding pattern between the physician and their patients. [2]

The dynamics of the doctor-patient association have been explored in different clinic-social settings to gain an insight into the people expectations from the medical sector during the course of their illness management. [2],[3],[4] Newer strategies have been implemented in the field of medical care to improve the DPR, such as use of placebos, [5] tele-health video consultation [6] and adoption of psychological models. [2] In addition, it has been advocated to expand the scope of DPR, in which multiple doctors treat the same patient as a team. [7]

As already discussed, acknowledging the role of DPR in the final outcome, heterogeneous measures like conducting regular training sessions on communication skills for the physicians including undergraduate medical students, [2],[8] sensitizing clinicians to respond to patients' emotional cues, [2] encouraging doctors to communicate in patients' vocabulary, [4] facilitating feedback from the patients after consultation, [2],[4] accelerating the empowerment of the patients, [3] teaching DPR skills during undergraduate medical curriculum, [8] reverting to the traditional culture to negate the sociocultural determinants, [1],[4] promoting listening by the doctors, [3] involving family members [3],[4] and enabling adoption of newer approaches [2],[6] have been proposed to make a correct diagnosis, enhance healing and boost the DPR.

To conclude, good DPR is the key element in building trust between the doctor and the patient and thus a better clinical outcome and satisfaction.

  References Top

Park K. Medicine and social sciences. In: Park K, editor. Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine. 20 th ed. Jabalpur: Banarsidas Bhanot; 2009. p. 604-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
Banerjee A, Sanyal D. Dynamics of doctor-patient relationship: A cross-sectional study on concordance, trust, and patient enablement. J Family Community Med 2012;19:12-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Hou X, Xiao L. An analysis of the changing doctor-patient relationship in China. J Int Bioethique 2012;23:83-94,177-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Williams S, Weinman J, Dale J. Doctor-patient communication and patient satisfaction: A review. Fam Pract 1998;15:480-92.  Back to cited text no. 4
Benedetti F. Placebo and the new physiology of the doctor-patient relationship. Physiol Rev 2013;93:1207-46.  Back to cited text no. 5
Sabesan S, Allen D, Caldwell P, Loh PK, Mozer R, Komesaroff PA, et al.; Royal Australasian College of Physicians Telehealth Working Group. Practical aspects of telehealth: Doctor-patient relationship and communication. Intern Med J 2014;44:101-3.  Back to cited text no. 6
Engeström Y. From doctor-patient relationship to a collaborative one. Duodecim 2013;129:651-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
Egnew TR, Wilson HJ. Faculty and medical students' perceptions of teaching and learning about the doctor-patient relationship. Patient Educ Couns 2010;79:199-206.  Back to cited text no. 8


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