Family medicine, health equity, healing relationship, patient satisfaction, person-centered medicine, population dynamics, primary care
Keywords:Family medicine, health equity, healing relationship, patient satisfaction, person-centered medicine, population dynamics, primary care
AbstractAt the start of every Health Care Education Course with Family Doctors, I ask the question: “How many minutes do you spend in educating your patient about his/her disease during the consultation?” Over the twenty years of my teaching I have received the model answer of “15 minutes.” Then I will ask, “How many times a year have you met each of your patients?” Generally, I receive the answer: “Around 4 times a year.” The class will usually become aghast when they realize that each doctor sees every patient the equivalent of only one day out of 365 days.This vignette shows that family doctors do not practice patient-centered care, at least not in Saudi Arabia. While patient-centredness is becoming widely used, in various forms, poorly understood it remains a concept in medical practice. Patient-centered care is certainly not any of the following: technology-centered, doctor-centered, hospital-centered and disease-centered. Definitions of patient-centered care seek to make the implicit in patient care explicit, but oversimplifications which may be appropriate for teaching and research fail to capture the indivisible whole of a healing relationship.
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