How do we protect each other in the patient-physician relationship? What if we try to act like neighbors act? OK, Good Neighbors, the ones we like.
Let's establish rapport in a respectful way. Then clarify an agenda for the engagement. What if we then establish limits for our engagement? How do we do that? At the grocery there is a time/ money limit that's understood. At the doctor's office, most people only pay a small percentage of the initial fee and everything beyond that is free. There is a huge incentive to want more at those prices. At the grocery, we would load our cart like it was a holiday if everything after the first $20 dollars was free. What's to limit the patient from getting excited and wanting more, especially as they realize how knowledgeable their family physician is?
What do good neighbors do? If my neighbor helps me with fixing my roof, do I ask if he'll fix my car and feed my dog, too? How do neighbors help each other and set limits in sharing their skills while limiting misuse of each other? How do they show their love and respect?
How should we protect each others time? Why are doctors late? Take too much time with some and thereby show disrespect for others? If our favorite patient in the world is in the waiting room and we know it, do we do better at connecting to the agenda and time constraints of the current patient? Doctors have tremendous guilt about this issue, and lots of excuses (I'm not exempt from time management problems - sorry, sorry, sorry). Neighborly patients, how can we share the fix on this? (Please).
Will technology help us and the neighbors? Can we refer each other to sites on the Internet that are helpful and maybe cost effective? Think about this protection issue and let me know your thoughts and feelings about it.