The Journal of Participatory Medicine has just published “The Patient Will See You Now,” a thought-provoking and rather moving narrative by John Krueger, MD. In telling his own story of becoming and maturing as a physician, the author persuasively argues that the key to practicing patient-centered medicine is devoting time to listen to patients’ stories and to cultivate a human relationship between clinicians and patients.
My personal favorites among several quotable lines in this article:
“Pressure that physicians feel to maintain a good business model threatens to overlook a critical part of our ‘product.’ In health care, the patient’s story and the relationship have ironically become the obstacle, rather than the objective.”
“Health care providers must embrace the goals of improved safety, efficiency, effectiveness, and timeliness, but must also realize that health care does not own health and care. If it is owned by anyone, it is owned by patients.”
Happy New Year, dear readers! May 2012 bring us closer to attaining patient-centered care.