Communication plays a vital role in all areas of healthcare, yet its importance is often overlooked. Whether it is a doctor talking to patient about treatment options or strangers comforting one another in the waiting room, communication is happening everywhere and most of the time we underestimate how important it is and how it truly affects our medical experiences. I believe that it is crucial that doctors and other health care providers obtain strong communication skills in order to provide the most positive experience for the patient as possible. I feel that especially doctors should be required to go through an extensive amount of training in the communication area of their field. Sometimes, a doctors' lack of sympathy or inability to connect to the patient is what makes the entire process uncomfortable or unpleasant from the patients' perspective. A good communicator could make you feel more at ease and gain more of your trust if he or she talks to you and really listens to you. Unfortunately, many people avoid visiting doctors and ignore their potentially dangerous conditions because of the uncomfortable experience and because they are able to sense that the doctor only sees them as an illness instead of a human being with feelings, fears, and questions that they wish could be answered. This may be due to poor experiences in the past with doctors who were unable to put the patient at ease and assure them that they were receiving the best care possible. Some doctors are wonderful with their patients and have built a consistent and growing clientele merely because they are personable, friendly and empathetic, and I believe that if all doctors could improve the way they relate to their patients that the general public would feel less resistance toward a check up or a procedure.
The movie "The Doctor" is a good example of how communication in the health field works. The main character "The Doctor", also known as Jack McKee, is a heart surgeon. The movie begins by showing how McKee's attitude toward his patients tended to be inappropriate. Jack joked about his patients, and laughed at their concerns and never really went out of his way to make that person feel better or to help them understand what was happening with their body. He was the kind of guy that just usually joked about the issue or downplayed the seriousness of the matter, leaving the patients feeling even more concerned or upset about their existing condition. His home life was also struggling as he was never at home, and his relationship with his wife and son were falling apart.
The movie takes a turn when Jack starts getting sick and coughing up blood, so he now has to go see a specialist named Lesley. He tries to joke with her but she is very serious and blunt about the news that he has a growth in his throat and needs to have a biopsy. Jack is not used to being a patient and feels he is above the rules of all the other patients because he is a doctor at the hospital. He is forced into the position of the patient and begins to understand how difficult it really is. He begins radiation for his tumor hoping to reduce the size, but it did not work, and he now has to have surgery to remove it. The surgery holds a risk that he could lose his voice and never be able to talk again. After the surgery went well, he was unable to talk for a while. He eventually got his voice back, and when he went back to work her returned a different man and a better doctor. His experience as a patient made him change his perspective and he was able to understand and relate to patients better. He began to teach patients the way he would want to be treated. It affected him so much he even insisted on teaching the new medical students how important it is to treat the patients like unique individuals and to look beyond their illness or disease. Through this experience, he was able to evaluate what was most important in life, and not only improved
A doctor finds out the hard way that there's more to medicine than skill in the operating theater in this emotional drama. Jack McKee (William Hurt) is a gifted but arrogant surgeon who cares little about the emotional welfare of his patients and is little more than a benign stranger to his wife Anne (Christine Lahti) and his son Nicky (Charlie Korsmo). Jack has been suffering from a nagging cough for some time, and when he begins coughing up blood one morning, he finally allows another doctor to take a look at him. The doctor discovers that Jack has a malignant tumor in his throat that could rob him of the ability to speak, or even kill him. Suddenly, Jack is a patient instead of a doctor, and he learns first hand about the long stretches in the waiting room, the indignity of filling out pointless forms, and the callous attitude of the professional medical community. Jack also gets to know June (Elizabeth Perkins), a terminal cancer patient whose joyous embrace of life as her time draws to a close is an inspiration to him. Restored to health, Jack is determined to be a more caring healer and strives to be a better husband and father, but his new lease on life also earns him an enemy in fellow surgeon Murray (Mandy Patinkin), who wants Jack to lie under oath for him in a major malpractice case; and a new respect for Eli (Adam Arkin), an ear-nose-throat man he used to ridicule for his empathetic treatment of his patients. The Doctor was based on the memoir of real-life surgeon Ed Rosenbaum, entitled "A Taste of My Own Medicine."