Improving the Doctor-Patient Relationship

When you reflect on the important people in your life, you may not necessarily think of your doctor. Yet maintaining this relationship is essential to your wellbeing. The relationship between patient and physician is one that has evolved substantially with the dawn of the digital age. With a breadth of medical information now available, patients have the opportunity – and responsibility – to advocate for their own health and wellness. Fostering this process is a mission of mine, so it’s disheartening when I hear that so many people are not only dissatisfied, but are downright disappointed by their interactions with their doctors.

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When you reflect on the important people in your life, you may not necessarily think of your doctor. Yet maintaining this relationship is essential to your wellbeing. The relationship between patient and physician is one that has evolved substantially with the dawn of the digital age. With a breadth of medical information now available, patients have the opportunity – and responsibility – to advocate for their own health and wellness. Fostering this process is a mission of mine, so it’s disheartening when I hear that so many people are not only dissatisfied, but are downright disappointed by their interactions with their doctors.


I believe that most of this frustration comes from miscommunication. Patients feel like either their doctors are not listening to them or are unable to unearth the root of the problem. It’s easy for personal relationships to fall to the wayside in the midst of skyrocketing costs and time restraints. Our show on Thursday, March 3 will offer some solutions to repair these ties. Obviously, not every appointment or interaction will be perfect, but there are simple strategies that can bridge the communication gap and provide a more fulfilling experience.


An alternative experience can be found in an emerging approach that functions as a supplement to traditional medicine. Our show on Tuesday, March 1 features one of my all-time favorite guests, Dr. Andrew Weil, as he explains integrative medicine. The integrative model considers a patient’s lifestyle and nutrition among other variables when evaluating diagnosis and treatment. Focusing on these areas is the future of wellness, and just as Dr. Weil is educating a new generation of renegade physicians, patients should also be schooled on their options.


Informed smart patients are able to open up the conversation. This alone will nurture your relationship with your doctor and create a more dynamic and satisfying experience with the medical system. The responsibility of your health should be shared between you and your doctor. As you work to strengthen your connection, I’m confident that your physician will always do their best to meet you halfway.

Blog written by Mehmet Oz, MD
America’s Doctor and three-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning host of the Daytime Emmy-winning The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz is also...