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What problems can arise in a doctor-patient relationship?

All patients hope they will have a good relationship with their physician. Unfortunately, problems can sometimes come up in a doctor-patient relationship. 

Recently, a Consumer Reports article pointed out some of the more common doctor-patient relationship problems that can arise. Here are the problems the article highlighted:

  • A doctor ignoring patient input in their decision making.
  • Disorganization at a doctor's office.
  • A doctor withholding relevant information.
  • A doctor giving off the impression of not respecting a patient.
  • Poor communication between a doctor and patient.
  • A doctor discouraging second opinions. 

Problems with a doctor-patient relationship can be very damaging. They can seriously erode the relationship between a patient and their doctor, which can have major negative implications. It could lead to a patient not fully trusting a doctor and their recommendations. It could also result in a doctor not being as engaged in a patient's care as they should be. A doctor not being properly engaged in a patient's care could increase the chances of mistakes occurring in connection to the care. Thus, doctor-patient relationship problems could have serious patient safety ramifications.  

Now, when doctor-patient relationship problems arise, there are actions a patient can take to try to address the problem and prevent it from permanently damaging the doctor-patient relationship. This includes bringing up concerns they have about the doctor-patient relationship to their doctor in a clear and honest way. For further information on the steps that can be taken in response to doctor-patient relationship problems, see what the above-mentioned Consumer Reports article had to say on these matters. 

Unfortunately, sometimes even a patient's best efforts to address doctor-patient relationship problems fail to prevent a doctor-patient relationship from weakening. When a patient believes that a weakened doctor-patient relationship led to a harmful medical mistake occurring in relation to their care, they should consult with a medical malpractice attorney. Medical malpractice lawyers can help such patients with investigating whether their doctor committed any negligent actions that could be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek compensation for the harmful medical mistake. 

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