Health Report 5/19/13 Bedside Manners

May 19th, 2013

Bedside manner seems to come naturally to some, but many of us have known doctors who make us feel like they don't care.
Now new research is making a case for compassion and getting hospitals involved in teaching critical skills to new physicians.

He's known for his bad bedside manner.
Now there's a push to make sure new doctors don't inherit House's habits.
What looks like a normal check-up is actually a simulation between a med student and an actor.
Heather Walker runs the program aimed at teaching medical students better bedside manners.

Heather Walker, Simulation Manager, St. Joseph's Hospital, said: "Are they compassionate? Are they, you know, looking at patient satisfaction? Communication is important because you have to have the patient build trust in you and have them be comfortable enough to sometimes share really personal things that you as a physician need to know in order to help them."

Students are graded on their interaction by faculty and the patient-actor.

Michele Richmond, actress, said: "You're not going to come back to somebody if they're rude, or if they're unfeeling, or uncaring or treating you not like a human being."

Research shows patients who feel their doctor has a good bedside manner are more compliant with their treatment regimen and are less likely to experience complications. And get this, a recent study from Michigan State University shows trust and empathy, associated with a positive physician-patient encounter, actually changes the brain's response to stress and increases pain tolerance.

Heather Walker, "It's not just trying to figure out what's going on with the patient, but they also have to feel, you know, they have to have empathy for the patient."

A lot more empathy than this TV doctor.


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