The Decline of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

The Decline of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

  • January 14, 2021

The doctor-patient relationship has been steadily declining over the last several decades in the United States as healthcare has become more and more impersonal. Doctors are no longer able to spend as much time as they would like with their patients due to changes in medical insurance and the strain it has put on the financial feasibility of healthcare systems and individual physician practices. Consequently, doctors have to see as much patients as possible in the same amount of time as before these changes. The result has been an overall decline in the doctor-patient relationship.



Decades ago, the vast majority of physicians in the United States were part of private practices. Nowadays, it is much more common for physicians to be employed by large healthcare systems or part of larger and larger private practices. While this may be good for the healthcare systems and private practices, it usually is not good for the patients. As healthcare systems and practices get bigger, they can leverage economies of scale and become more profitable. Yet, this is typically at the expense of the patient. The intimate doctor-patient relationship of the old days is dead. Patients have a very limited time to spend with their doctors because doctors need to see an ever increasing number of patients as healthcare becomes more business-centered rather than patient-centered.


How The Doctor-Patient Relationship Can Be Helped

Doctors, private practices, and healthcare systems need to start making changes to their models in order to stop this steady decline. They need to focus on each and every patient’s healthcare experience from start to finish and make sure it is exceptional. A major way to achieve this is by making patients feel as though their doctor cares. That they are not just another number for the doctor or healthcare system but rather a living, breathing human who needs care. Furthermore, doctors can create personalized procedure videos for their patients. These videos show the doctor is putting in extra effort and care for their patients to make sure they have an exceptional healthcare experience. Patients notice. More importantly, patients will be more satisfied with their experience and will leave you positive reviews, which are crucial as a method of attracting more patients.



The doctor-patient relationship in the United States has become strained as doctors spend less and less time with their patients. Yet, this relationship is such a crucial aspect of healthcare. It can be a make-or-break factor for how a patient views the care they received. Thus, it is paramount for doctors and healthcare systems to implement measures to improve the healthcare experience for patients and restore the doctor-patient relationship back to its former levels.

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