There are a number of factors that come together to create good medical care. One of the most important is the human connection that develops over time between a doctor and a patient. With the exception of a few clinical areas, the doctor-patient relationship is central, even essential, to the practice of medicine.
That’s where The Familiar Physician™ comes in.
As a concept, The Familiar Physician™ represents a model of mutual trust and shared decision making that strengthens and supports the diagnostic and therapeutic process. In fact, researchers have documented better outcomes for patients who have a primary care doctor as their ongoing source for care regardless of any demographic or health status differences.
But it’s important to keep in mind that The Familiar Physician™ is more than just a concept.
As a clinician … as a person … The Familiar Physician™ knows the patient well enough to identify a health issue better than a medical colleague who would be unfamiliar with the individual being treated. On the other side of the equation, the patient is comfortable enough to ask questions and confident that the doctor knows and cares about his or her values. No matter if the connection is formal, casual or somewhere in between, it’s a partnership that will always be more effective when people are familiar with each other.
For healthcare reform to reach its ultimate goals it will, by necessity, travel through the field of primary care. And for primary care to fulfill its promise in the overall area of medicine, there are a lot of very good reasons to expect that it will include The Familiar Physician™.