Doctor patient partnership

Doctor the adviser – Patient the expert
Summary, Sort, Options, Advice, and education
Patients as a resource


Schmich,M. (1997) ‘Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ June 1,Chicago Tribune – the words used in the song Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen) Baz Luhrmann – Listen to them on the internet and remind yourself about the value of your body and life

The consultation between a doctor and patient should now be a true partnership. Working together to improve health and wellbeing

Doctor the adviser – Patient the expert

As a patient you are the expert in your own body. You know what has happened before, what you have done to your body and what has usually helped. Only you know what it feels like. You have had time to consider your symptoms and sort them into possible causes. Your ideas will often be a clue to the cause, for the doctor to consider. Your concerns about the cause are equally important as addressing them will make you feel better.

The doctor is an expert in how most bodies work, but their role is to advise you on how to look after you body better and how to stay well longer.

Summary, Sort,  Options, Advice, and education

A doctors role is to take the symptoms and signs you present with and summarise them into the key points that can be sorted into a working diagnosis. They should be able to present you with a range of options and advice you on th emost appropriate one for you.  The doctors aim is to education about your illness, what can be done and what is best for you to do. It is up to you what you do, when you do it and how much you do – it is your body to look after. “It is the greatest instrument you will ever own” to quote the words of Mary Schmich later used in the song Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann

Patients as a resource

The doctor and patient are a team together as soon as the door opens and for those seven minutes of time together with each ten minute time slot. As a patient you can help maximise your time in many different ways. You can present your problems clearly and decide which one is your priority. If there are several problems you can list these and work with the doctor to decide which can be dealt with now and which need to be deferred. You can bring ideas and insights on the cause which you can share. You can help by dressing lightly ready for blood pressure examination (short sleeved!) or leg examination (shorts). You can provide home blood pressure measurements, you could help fill out blood form details after you leave, you can hold and bring past letters and blood results you may have to hand. These are all regular examples in GP surgeries which save moments that are better used by your doctor advising you on your problems.