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If You Like Your Doctor You May Have Less Pain!

I don't want to make this complicated.

If You Have a Positive Relationship With Your Doctor, You May Experience LESS PAIN

During Painful Procedures.

OK, here's the details. There is something known as a Patient Centered Interview. In a Patient Centered Interview:

  1. The patient is shown basic respect. They are addressed by name, the doctor introduces themselves, the patients opinion is asked for.

  2. The patient is encouraged to tell their story without interruptions. Open ended questions encourage the patient to tell what is important to them, and their feelings and perspective is valued.

  3. The doctor sits down to take the history, rather than towering over the patient.

  4. There are more details, but this gives you the basic idea.

A Patient Centered Interview is How

All Medical Visits Should Be Conducted!

But many visits are NOT patient centered. The doctor does not introduce themselves. The patient is not addressed by name. Mostly yes/no questions are asked. The patient may not even get asked about their most important issue or symptom. ETC.

Obviously after a Patient Centered Interview, the patient has a lot better relationship with the provider. The patient feels respected, and knows their problems have been listened to. Patient Satisfaction with the Provider-Patient Relationship Questionnaires show how satisfied patients are with their relationship with the provider. After Patient Centered visits, the doctor earns much higher scores on this questionnaire, reflecting a positive Patient Provider Relationship.

In a recent study the patients that had a Patient Centered Interview were then scanned with an MRI while they received painful stimuli, while viewing pictures of their doctor or pictures of unknown doctors. The MRI scan showed how much pain they were experiencing.

Patients that had Patient Centered Interviews, resulting in more positive relationships with their doctor, experienced LESS PAIN when viewing pictures of their doctor, compared to viewing pictures of unknown doctors.

Isn't that interesting?

A good relationship with your doctor, means you might have less pain during painful procedures! (Patient Educ Couns. 2013 Feb;90(2) : 220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.10.021.)

There have been multiple studies documenting the many benefits of Patient Centered Interviews. (The Patient History: An Evidence-Based Approach to Differential Diagnosis. McGraw Hill; 2012) For example, patients that have Patient Centered Interviews:

  • Are less likely to switch doctors and less likely to sue their doctor.

  • Have better blood pressure and improved control of their diabetes.

  • When pregnant have better perinatal outcomes.

  • When critically ill spend less time in the hospital and end up living longer.

  • With cancer even have better outcomes.

Given the Amount of Evidence, Why Aren't All Doctors Using a Patient Centered Approach?

What do we learn from this?

  1. Our relationships with our doctors really are important to our wellbeing.

  2. Good relationships result when patients are treated respectfully and appropriately.

  3. Our lives are better when we have good relationships with our doctors, and in fact we may even experience less pain.

What Kind of relationship do you have with your doctor?

What could you do to improve the relationship?

What could the doctor do to improve the relationship?

Take care and BE HEALTHY!

CW Jasper

November 2022

© 2022· Content is Property Created by CW Jasper


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Gerald Hacker
Gerald Hacker
Nov 07, 2022

I have had difficult relationships with doctors in the past and it is not very pleasant. Luckily I am a very stubborn person and will seek a second opinion if I cannot get my questions answered to my satisfaction.


Great Article, In all of our life it goes better when we treat people kindly and when we are kind and listen. Thanks for the blog.

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