Monday, January 02, 2006

"Good medicine sometimes means that the customer - I mean patient - isn't always right."

"Or even happy." Dr. Richard A. Friedman, M.D., in the New York Times:
According to the business model that now permeates hospitals, all complaints must be taken at face value and assuaged, with little regard to the clinical context or to the effect on the patient.

But in good psychotherapy, it is not possible, let alone desirable, to keep patients happy and satisfied all the time. Frustration, anxiety and discomfort are unavoidable in life, and in therapy - particularly for patients with certain personality disorders.

This isn't to say that doctors and hospitals shouldn't submit to intense scrutiny of how they do things. But they can't be blind to the fact that good treatment doesn't always feel good. Conversely, sometimes patients feel good about years of bad psychotherapy that is doing little to help them.

2 Comments:

Anonymous hippocrates said...

Right on. Any credible ratings system should be balanced between patient and professional opinion.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

I agree. As a bipolar, I have learned that sometimes you either have to get through the side effects or accept them as a tradeoff for relief of your neuro-pain.

2:51 PM  

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