Doctor Patient Communication & Physician Burnout | Health Podcast

Date: 10/26/2012

Studies Show Doctor Patient Communication Low, Physician Burnout High

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Did you know that if a doctors spends just an extra 45 seconds with a patient, the risk of litigation for medical malpractice greatly decreases? 

What can a doctor do with an extra 45 seconds? Proper doctor patient communication for one. However, a study done at the University of Melbourne in Australia found that physicians do not always, and in fact rarely, inform their patients of the health hazards their treatments may cause. The study looked at 481 medical malpractice claims and found that 85% of them centered around inadequate disclosure of surgical or treatment hazards, such as chronic pain, infertility, loss of vision or hearing, second surgery, etc. Most importantly, the study also found that physicians severely underestimate the patient’s desire for full disclosure. Wouldn’t you want to know if a treatment may cause poor quality of life? According to physicians in the study, you don’t need to know. 

Another study has found that nearly half of all U.S. physicians report at least one symptom of burnout. An overwhelming majority--ninety percent--of the physicians in the study are professionals that the general public consults with, such as internists and family practice doctors. Physician burnout can cause costly mistakes that affect your pocketbook and quality of life. 

At your next doctor visit, take the initiative and directly ask your physician about any information you need to know about the treatment or medication he or she is proposing, in order to avoid complications down the road.

Comments

  •  
    Submitted by lynette mayo on
    June 18, 2016 - 1:02pm

    This is apt for me right now. I am pondering the safety of minor Laser treatment for fluid buildup in eye lens. My problem, l have a rare illness, which creates lipoma's (in my disease they form roots and grow into nerves), when skin is broken, what lf l grow one in my eye, that's unimaginable! I had a biopsy in 2011, to determine why l had so many lipoma's, at that time l did not know their real name. The surgery was so invasive, l screamed when l woke up, 'oh we cannot give you pain killers because your respiration is to low' it was low because they used to much anesthesia. I screamed in agony for at least three months. It was like being shot in battle with no medic. A nurse called it a 'butchery'. I learned the name of the illness myself with research. The illness comes with Hyperalagesia, hence my screaming for so long. In addition, same night of surgery my legs swelled up with edema. Both the surgeon and my PC, for a year said its nothing, just edema from surgery. It was in fact, Head to Toe Lymphedema, the routine bios[py caused another catastrophic disease.!! The stitches where not removed properly, and 3 became embedded. The nurse tortured me trying to pull them out. Eventually the surgeon had to do it. He held me down with force, and ripped them out, l almost fainted with pain, again l didn't yet know l had hyperalagesia.. My income is social security, rarely have funds for head to toe compression garments.....In closing l highly recommend, "How To Talk To Your Doctor", Ronald L Hoffman, MD, powerful help for both doctor and patient ! I had to go to therapy abouit all this, l want to confront this surgeon, but until l have resolved the anger l now feel, it is not possible !

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