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I am a dentist. I have been practicing for over 6 years. I love what I do and who I help. I truly believe the more people you help, the more fulfilling your life will be. This is another attempt for me to help others in some way.
Reflecting on my short career, the biggest surprise I have realized is how little control we professionals have to influence the multitude and magnitude of factors that affect our practice. Those same factors have drastic and often detrimental impacts on the sacred doctor-patient relationship that we all craved before we started our journey into our chosen professions.
In an ideal world, our relationship with our patients would be based purely on trust. The strength of that trust is measured subjectively by the quality of the connection we have with our patients. But this is no ideal world, and so many extraneous forces try to disconnect that trusting relationship we all strive to build.
Some of these factors are things like:
Fear of litigation
Third party payer interference
Non-professional business operators
Social media pressure
This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a short list of these factors that affect the relationship we have with our patients. The stark reality we all know and face is that as these relationships, the trust and connection degrade, the care we provide can become compromised. That is something we all promised we would never let happen. Perhaps most insidiously, our care and practice has been challenged, yet we remain almost wholly, completely and legally responsible if we fail.
So what? Why does this matter?
I personally believe the only way for us to overcome the challenges our collective professions face is for us to create our own solutions. We simply can’t take a backseat while other interests commandeer the sacred privileges we have earned to care for lives.
What can I do?
Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have the answers to the challenges we all face. I don’t know the scope of challenges each individual healthcare profession faces. But I know they exist. I hope to explore these challenges in an open way, and create a professional collaboration wherein solutions can be devised. Ultimately, if we can change the practice of healthcare for the better, we will all benefit from that success.
As a healthcare professional, let me know your thoughts. What problems do you face that you’d like to see explored in future posts? What ideas do you have to solve the problems facing our professions? Leave your comments!