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Physician-Patient Relationship

Physician-Patient Relationship

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Physician-Patient Relationship

A doctor patient relationship is considered as a fundamental aspect in healthcare practice. It is termed as the confidence accrued by a patient because of the competence of the physician. The establishment of an appropriate and healthy relationship is based on trust between the two parties, the patient and the physician. Both the physician and the patient have responsibilities in such relationships, which ensure the success of treatment of the patient.

Physician’s rights

The physician is usually viewed as higher in hierarchy in comparison to the patient because of the professional credentials and knowledge s/he possesses. This provides the physician with the ability to provide the patient with vital and relevant information as to the variety of necessary procedures and other important health related information. The responsibilities of the physician usually translate to observing the best interest of the patient towards achieving high quality treatment and care (Veatch, 2009). The physician has the right to provide the patient with the needed information pertaining to their health. This ensures that the physician is able to achieve his or her obligation in ensuring maximum care for the patient.

Physician’s Responsibilities

The physician is usually tasked with soliciting for the patient’s cooperation to provide the patient with the highest level of care. This is achieved by ensuring the presence of confidentiality with the patients as a means of maximizing patient care. In addition, this is achieved through the development of understanding and confidence or trust between the patient and the physician through communication between the two parties. Communication entails providing the patient with precise answers to questions asked and any other relevant information pertaining to the welfare of the patient. This provides the patient with an illustration that the physician is capable and willing to safeguard and ensure confidentiality on matters discussed (Perry, & American Medical Association, 2001).

Professional Practice Responsibilities:

The physician is tasked with observing the provided ethical, moral and legal standards in providing treatment to the patient. The physician is tasked with an opportunity to include the patient in the development of an appropriate and suitable treatment plan as a means of maximizing patient care. This is based on information and advice provided by a physician for the best health interests of the patient. Another important responsibility is the consideration of ethical, moral and legal obligations or standards applicable in healthcare. This ensures that the physician is able to provide the patient with the appropriate level of standards of healthcare by ensuring a relatively high level of professionalism in providing treatment to the patient (Soden, 2003).

Patients Rights

The patient possesses the right to seek information pertaining to the various treatment options presented. The rights of the patient also involve the involvement in the development of the various treatment plans necessary for maximum care. The patient is tasked with engagement with the physician into a partnership that is active and seeks to ensure that the interests of the physician and the patient towards the health of the patient are achieved. It is arrived by providing the physician with the interests and health concerns towards effective treatment. It is usually termed as an indication of the existence of trust and confidence in the professional competence of the patient.

Patients Responsibilities

The patient is responsible for seeking clarification through questions about the possible methods of treatment and their varied levels of effectiveness towards successful treatment of the patient (Veatch, 2009). The patient in collaboration with the physician is also tasked with the development of treatment plans and goals for success in treatment. The relationship between a patient and a physician is usually based on several basic elements. They include respect, open and honest communication, trust and compassion. These four elements usually give definition as to the success of the relationship between the patient and the physician. An open discussion is maintained by the physician and the patient as a means of ensuring the achievement of the goals and objectives of successful treatment using the selected methods for treatment by the patient and physician (Soden, 2003).

Right of Minors

The rights of minor patients are usually determined by their parents or guardians. The guardian of a hospitalized minor is usually tasked with ensuring that the physician is able to provide the highest level of treatment. In addition, the child through the parent is tasked with inquiry, knowing, and understanding the child’s ailment. This provides the parent or legal guardian with the right of involvement in decision-making processes and formulation of the best treatment plans for the minor. A parent or legal guardian is termed as an agency of the minor as the minor has not attained an age of consent.

Parents and legal guardians of minors are usually responsible for providing consent for treatment plans, and procedures after understanding the diagnosis provided by a physician. This is also based on understanding the possible outcomes provided in a single treatment option. This results in the necessity for a pain management strategy developed by the physician and the parent. It is aimed at ensuring that the minor is at comfort during the period of hospitalization and in all treatment related procedures (Perry, & American Medical Association, 2001).

Parents and legal guardians of minors on behalf of the minor have the right to request and review information provided pertaining to the progress of treatment of the minor. This is usually a means of evaluating the level of care given and its effectiveness towards the treatment of the ailing minor. This warrants them with the right of contacting the responsible authority or healthcare team as to their concerns on the treatment progress and approaches used for effective treatment of the minor (Veatch, 2009).

In conclusion, the patient usually provides information that is aimed at ensuring his or her welfare. This is based on the establishment of a rapport between the patient and the physician that is based on trust and confidence in the physician’s ability to provide solutions to ailment through an appropriate medical procedure. It is usually an indication of the essence of trust in relationships between a physician and patient for success of the treatment process.


Perry, A., & American Medical Association. (2001). American Medical Association guide to talking to your doctor. New York: Wiley.

Soden, K. (2003). The art of medicine: What every doctor and patient should know. Philadelphia: Mosby.

Veatch, R. M. (2009). Patient, heal thyself: How the new medicine puts the patient in charge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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