Listening to Simon and Garfunkel song I am a rock got me thinking about relationships. Unlike the song, no man is an island. We laugh, we love we cry often due to our interactions with others, and this is a big part of our humanity. In fact studies have shown that having not just relationships but healthy ones is important for our health and wellness .There seems to be evidence that strong relationships contribute to a long, healthy and happy life.
A recent article I was reading listed the following reasons to invest in relationships
- Relationships fulfill your most important needs
- These can be places where we get the most of our joy from
- We can create lasting impacts with the relationships we create
- Relationships allow us to build a network of people to help us during times of need
One of the most important relationship that I think we have the opportunity to create is the one between you and your primary care physician. This is a relationship that for obvious reasons can have a direct correlation with your health and wellness. Like any relationship that is built to last, a Patient-Physician relationship takes time to build. However if both parties invest the time it can be one of the most fulfilling relationships for both parties.
As physicians we need to be able to do the following to enhance these relationships.
- Expressing empathy in order to build a trusting relationship: This means truly listening to the patient, and ensuring that they feel heard. In today’s world of 5-10 minute doctor visits this is becoming increasingly difficult to do.
- Strong two way communication with the patient. While every patient interaction should be one where we communicate with the patient, it often seems from what patients have told me that it often feels like a lecture vs dialog
- Shared decision making: at some point in your interaction with the healthcare system decisions will need to be made. The best outcomes in any health care interaction require informed shared decision making.
For various reasons in today’s world of fee for service primary care it is challenging to accomplish the above. Many physician try to do this with an ever increasing demand on their time which many believe is one of the drivers for physician burnout.
I believe that building meaningful lasting relationships with patients that lead to better healthcare outcomes, while restoring the heart and soul of healthcare is still possible. Direct Primary Care offers a path for both patients and physicians to interact in a meaningful way. Through direct primary care healthcare is delivered without the unnecessary burden of third party administrators. And the best thing is that for many this model of healthcare is affordable.
Oregon Health DPC in Tualatin is a direct primary care practice. We believe that healthcare needs to be affordable, collaborative and focused not on unattainable metrics but on you the patient. If you are interested in learning more about how we are different from other primary care practices give us a contact us to schedule a free consultation. Our FAQ page also has more information on the practice.