Saturday, March 1, 2008

Is There Hardening of the Heart During Medical School?

Is There Hardening of the Heart During Medical School?

Physician-Patient Relationship

Academic Medicine. 83(3):244-249, March 2008.
Newton, Bruce W. PhD; Barber, Laurie MD; Clardy, James MD; Cleveland, Elton MD; O'Sullivan, Patricia EdD

Purpose: To determine whether vicarious empathy (i.e., to have a visceral empathic response, versus role-playing empathy) decreases, and whether students choosing specialties with greater patient contact maintain vicarious empathy better than do students choosing specialties with less patient contact.

Patient Fired by Doctor

"Ms. Matthews' case illustrates the difficulty many people with mental illness have functioning in society. But it also highlights the grey area in doctor-patient relationships that can emerge when a patient is seen to refuse treatment, be unco-operative or display other behaviour that causes friction.

The Canadian Medical Association has guidelines governing the relationship between doctors and patients and says that patients should have the chance to find a new family doctor before a physician terminates treatment.

However, doctors in Canada have the right to stop seeing patients at their discretion, particularly if a patient is difficult or won't accept treatment, said Jeff Blackmer, executive director in the CMA's office of ethics."

Books on Doctors as Patients and a few on the Doctor-Patient Relationship