The provider-patient relationship has been and remains a cornerstone of care—the medium in which data are gathered; diagnoses and plans of care are made; compliance is accomplished; and healing, patient activation, and support are rendered (Lipkin, Putnam, and Lazare, 1995). As professionals within the healthcare community, we need to be cognizant of the fact that there are a number of relational models in the literature that describe provider-patient relationships (paternalistic, informative, interpretive, and deliberative). As with any relationship, the dynamics which shape the nature of this relationship can be complex and easily strained or fractured. For instance, the doctor-patient relationships may be threatened by new financial and organizational arrangements that raise legitimate concerns about conflicts of interest and weaken patient trust. Take a moment and share which relational model most closely aligns with your personal philosophy of what a provider-patient relationship should look like, and then explain and support your position. There are those who would argue that changes in healthcare financing and organizational arrangements do not create potential for conflicts of interest; ethical dilemmas; or degrade the patients’ trust in their providers.
Lipkin, M. Jr., Putnam, S.M., Lazare, A. editors. The medical interview: Clinical care, education, and research. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag; 1995
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