The harmful effects of shaming patients for self-education

The harmful effects of shaming patients for self-education

A patient's self-education can enhance their health outcomes and their partnership with their doctor, but some doctors shame patients for it, causing damage to the doctor-patient relationship and perpetuating the broken health care system, which the author believes should be fixed through respectful and empowering care and not compromising values despite the pressures of the medical-industrial-complex. Everybody has seen the mug and perhaps laughed a little. It may have even brought to mind a certain client or interaction. I haven't really thought about it much, beyond than thinking of it as a snarky joke (no offence to any of you who have one, honestly), until a recent patient encounter. I recently had the pleasure of seeing a long-time patient who was unlucky to receive a terminal breast cancer diagnosis in her mid-30s. She is not only healthy enough to attend her regular checkups, but she is also prospering. I conveyed my joy at her youthful appearance and asked about the current treatment plan and any recent follow-ups. She was happy to inform that the PET scan remained steady.

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