Description: Although much has been written about the doctor-patient relationship from the perspective of physicians and other healthcare providers, there is little discussion tailored for patients. This book seeks to address this imbalance, offering practical information to help patients make the most of their interactions with their healthcare providers.
Purpose: The purpose is to address the relationship between a physician and patient. This is a worthy objective, since few books use a reflective approach to examine the nature of the patient-physician relationship.
Audience: Written with patients in mind, the author takes a personal approach. Although clearly knowledgeable about the relationship that develops between physician and patient, the author fails to address how the sentiments expressed might be commonly experienced in interactions with other types of providers.
Features: The book describes the issues that may emerge during the physician-patient encounter across the lifespan and with providers in different specialties (such as internal medicine versus family practice). There is a heavy emphasis on expressing the thought processes of physicians during encounters with patients. The author misses an opportunity to include healthcare providers other than physicians and address the commonalities in the patient relationship experience.
Assessment: It is rare that patients are privy to true reflective thoughts from the physician's perspective. In this, the book offers a unique attempt to address the lack of personal touch that can develop in an impersonal healthcare system.