Many people feel that the doctor’s attitude and character are important. Scientific studies have determined that a pleasant doctor is effective in the patient’s health. When the health professional knows how to get along with the patient, establishing a good personal relationship, better results are obtained in the treatment of pain, high blood pressure or overweight.
The researcher Helen Riess, directs a program of “relational science and empathy” at the Massachusetts General Hospital, participated in a study and some determinations were established, such as that health professionals trained to introduce changes in the way they relate to patients, such as maintaining eye contact, listening without interrupting, and creating “warmth” and empathy.
The benefits of being a nice doctor are many
The magnitude of being a nice doctor is such that the benefits are many. So the behavior of a doctor must be part of the treatment protocols, representing an improvement in care and results without economic cost.
Being a personable and empathetic doctor enables respect and dignity in the doctor-patient relationship. It is important for the doctor to put himself in the place of the patient, in his skin and see how his eyes look. As the writer Unamuno has expressed, “you have to be with the sick person without being the sick person”. So empathy helps the doctor to imagine and understand what the patient is feeling, being the best way to feel what is not common to human beings.
A dignified and respectful relationship is based on the acceptance of the patient beyond what he does. The patient must be valued for what he is, not for what he does. That is, the doctor must be fair without being a judge. The doctor has to prevent and cure, not judge a moral attitude.
What should the doctor do to empathize?
Below we are going to offer you some guidelines so that, as a doctor, you can empathize with your patients and be a pleasant doctor:
- Greet, introduce yourself and ask the patient what is wrong.
- Appear calm.
- Show cordiality and smile sincerely.
- Practice active listening.
- Be attentive to the concerns of patients and understand their personality.
- Show sense of responsibility.
- Call the patient by name.
- Speak what is necessary and explain yourself in an intelligible way, avoiding technicalities.
- Assess, through dialogue, what the patient wants and does not want to know about his illness.
- Apply the rule of the three “C”: communication, understanding and trust.
- The doctor-patient relationship must be based on: integrity, equanimity and respect for the person.
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