Response to the recent NY Times article on physician insensitivity:

Your article (“When the Doctor Is in, but You Wish He Weren’t”) was interesting. It is inevitable as doctors get more and more pressure to see larger numbers of patients that encounters would become more impersonal. After all, isn’t this the same complaint that happens with Home Depot as opposed to the local hardware store?

But the solutions proposed in the article are inappropriate. What is happening is that doctors are told to be nicer and to spend more time with patients. Yet they are told to spend less time with patients by Medicare and administration bent on making money. Isn’t this a schizophrenic management practice? Isn’t this making the correct diagnosis but giving the incorrect treatment

The source of the problem is increasing time pressures and decreasing pay. Why is no one addressing the source of the problem? That in itself is like giving cholesterol medicine without giving any instruction on diet and exercise. At some point the system breaks down.

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