So I’m reading comments on my Doctor Delicious post and I see a comment from a reader named Yoyo. Interesting really. Yoyo doesn’t understand why anyone would want a Delicious page for patient information and resources. She just wants to be cared for without knowing every detail.
It got me thinking: Is there a role for paternalism in the provider-patient relationship? Is there ever a time when someone should just be cared for without having to double and triple check his doctor?
Perhaps. I remember when my wife and I went through fertility treatment. We did our homework up front, triple checked our network of contacts, chose a doctor, made an initial appointment (‘interview’) and then decided that this was our doc. At this point we put ourselves in her hands. Part confidence part faith. Never a Google search. And then we had a baby. I might even suggest that in our case a hands-off approach was instrumental in conception.
But everyone’s different, of course. A heavy-handed role offers a sense of control that some patients want in a relationship with a doctor. And there are many situations where medical management isn’t as clear-cut as uncomplicated in vitro ferilization. In many cases medical vigilance is key to survival.
But while deep patient involvement is becoming the norm, there may be a time and place for someone smart and trusted to just show us what to do.