Teaching Patient-Centered Care
At the core of professionalism is the recognition that patient-centered care is the foundation of positive health outcomes. Patient-centered care challenges doctors to be empathetic, respectful, and compassionate towards patients, particularly during challenging encounters. The ACGME lists professionalism as one of its core competencies.
Noncompliance, irrationality, differing cultural beliefs, and countless other difficult situations, test the physician’s ability to control his/her own emotions and provide patient-centered care. Studies have suggested that the unspoken emotions of physicians can lead to harmful behavior during patient-doctor interactions. While doctors are still taught to practice medicine objectively and to disregard personal feelings, it is unwise to assume that this is always possible or even preferable.
How to use these materials:
Begin by reviewing the Caring for Challenging Patients: Train the Trainer Presentation which lays out the structure of the workshop. The facilitator guide can be followed to lead a group through the Caring for Challenging Patients workshop. The learner handout is a supplement to enhance several of the exercises in the workshop; it can be handed out at the start of the session. This module includes variations for a general clinical setting, a family planning setting, and for use in a jail health clinic. Select the set of materials most relevant to the clinical setting in which the workshop will be held.