Training Doctors for Person-Centered Care.
Acad Med. 2015 Dec 29;
Authors: English J
Person-centered care, in which an individual patient's goals and preferences are treated as paramount, should be the standard throughout the nation. Achieving this ideal will require a change in the culture of health care, and medical schools can play a vital role in helping achieve it.Lack of communication, uncoordinated services, and dealings with sometimes-aloof clinicians and staff all can increase stress and undermine a person's sense of well-being. In a person-centered system, such experiences would be much less common.The cultural shift starts with the idea of "engaging the consumer" rather than "treating the patient." Such engagement requires honoring individuality. The doctor may have a certain way of doing things. But people vary enormously in their values and priorities. They have different goals, different thresholds of pain, different anxieties, different needs for support, different backgrounds, and different resources to draw on. Individuals should feel empowered, aware of their choices, and connected to their health care providers through meaningful communication and understanding. They deserve to feel that their personal dignity and their wishes are a top priority. They should be made to feel that they, along with their caregivers, are members of the care team.This change will benefit not only patients and families but doctors as well. Doctors will benefit from more insight into the individuals they serve, their interactions with consumers and caregivers will be more positive, and the quality of care will improve.
PMID: 26717502 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]