April 8, 2015

Highly Recommended: Should you be worried that your patients will attack you?

Rob Humbracht

Should you be worried that your patients will attack you?

We all know that it's tough to be a doctor in the United States these days, but a facet of practicing medicine that we take for granted is that doctors and patients work together to help make them better. But what happens when trust erodes in an increasingly de-personalized medical system faced with serving too many patients?

A fascinating podcast from Dr. Michael Wilkes examines how this process is unfolding in China, where patient-on-doctor violence has reached alarming levels. Medical school faculty and students cite violence as one of their primary concerns in their practice and in why they are reluctant to enter a career in medicine. Apparently there are a multitude of factors contributing to the patient violence:

1. It can take hours or days to get to see the doctor (imagine how frustrated you would be)
2. Because there are no primary care doctors - at least the way that we in the United States think of them - patients do not have the same sense of trust in their doctors.
3. The lack of a medical malpractice system means that there is limited recourse for patients who feel wronged by their doctors.

It's a fascinating and short listen. Highly Recommended.

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