Physicians also need to redefine their relationships with patients. The cover story offers the example of Ken Davis, MD, a physician based in Conroe, TX. At the end of an appointment, he brings his patients into the hallway to a computer with Internet access, explains how to use MedScape, and provides a quick tutorial on how to find more information about the diagnosis. Taking a few minutes to do that saves him time, he says. A patient will come to the next appointment better informed and ready to work in partnership with the physician.
These changes aren't going to redefine healthcare overnight. But even if the ideal physician-patient relationship is never achieved, healthcare is shifting from a physician-centric to a patient-centric model, and physicians have to adapt.
Unfortunately, we are currently caught between the two models, so physicians have to keep a foot in both worlds to meet the demands of all their patients.