How connected are you to your doctor?
In this week's "Doctor and Patient" column, I write about a recent study in The Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston looked at "connectedness" -- a measure of the relationship between patients and their primary care physicians. While roughly 60 percent of patients were "connected" with a specific doctor, a sizable minority of patients were "connected" to a practice but not to a single physician; and just over 5 percent were not "connected" at all.
Not surprisingly, those patients "connected" to a specific doctor were more likely to receive recommended preventive care.
I understood these study results both instinctively and from my experiences as a doctor and a patient. But the findings led me to wonder how we might improve patient-doctor "connectedness."
What are you thoughts on "connectedness" between patients and doctors? How "connected" are you to your doctors? And are your doctors connected to you?
Please feel free to leave your comments below or on Tara Parker-Pope's "Well" blog.