When I'm with a patient, I'm a human first and a family doctor second. I consider them to be human first and patient second. As they shift their roles, I'm often a consumer coach, a safety advocate and a small business owner. How do we get anything done shifting through several roles during encounters with patients? Does each member of the dyad know which role they are manifesting at each moment? I don't think so.
Should we both have signs that identify our roles as we progress through each office engagement? Will we each understand the other better if we know when roles shift along with expectations of each other?
The identity confusion is one of our problems in Family Medicine these days. We are generalists who care deeply about people. How should we address this issue? Do consumers need consumer coaches (concurrent with family physician role or separate)?
What do you think?