Medical Students Recognize Importance of Bedside Manner
Truly caring for the patient begins at the bedside with observation, examination and connection. A commentary that echoes this sentiment appears at in-Training, an online peer-reviewed publication for medical students with content and stories by medical students. The article – “Why is Bedside Manner Important” – describes the value of taking time to engage with patients at the bedside because a “chart can only reveal so much.”
The in-Training feature emphasizes two important elements of bedside medicine: communication and empathy. Specifically,
· When “providers have a meaningful conversation with patients, the providers gain a better, more holistic understanding of the patient,” an outcome that can benefit both.
· With empathy comes a sense of confidence that encourages patients to “ask more questions and trust their physician to listen to them,” which “may positively improve patient outcomes.”
Stanford Medicine 25’s own Abraham Verghese worries that the current system can stifle young doctors’ eagerness to be at the bedside, so we are excited to see this topic being discussed and recognized as a priority from within the medical student community.
Humility is an underappreciated skill in a time of global budgets, evidenced based approaches, and cost-containment. The bright, well-read, talented medical students who may lack humility are not uncommon.
Patient-centered care is an important aspect of the National Strategy for Quality Improvement on Health Care. As such, healthcare institutions are strongly focusing on the patient-physician relationship and the patient experience.
The editor-in-chief of Medscape, Dr. Eric Topol, visited Stanford to sit down and do an interview with our Dr. Vergese for the Medscape One-on-One online video series.
Peter Conrad, a sociologist at Brandeis University, spoke of the rise and fall of the medical authority in the doctor patient office encounter in his many scholarly articles. With the internet becoming the “elephant in the doctor’s office,” the dynamic of medical authority has certainly changed…