Bedside Medicine Training Helps Both New and Established Physicians
A recent blog post on the Daily Nurse highlights the different ways nursing students, medical students and residents are being taught good bedside manner “right alongside teaching CPR and how to use stethoscopes.” This training, says the Daily Nurse post, builds clinicians’ communications skills and offers real-life experience. Some programs are incorporating unique approaches, like humor and improv. Others are utilizing “virtual visit”-like technology not only to help students gain experience and but also develop their “webside manner,” a skill set that’s evolving with the emergence of telemedicine.
The effort – which often focuses as much on empathy as it does physical exam skills – matters to the experiences of both patients and their providers. As we know, an emphasis on bedside medicine can prevent physician burnout by reducing “compassion fatigue.” And so Stanford Medicine 25 stresses the importance of these skills not only for medical students but also for their teachers, mentors and others already practicing medicine. As the author of the Daily Nurse post writes, “How do medical professionals address the issue of those well-established nurses and physicians who didn’t get their degree at a time when bedside manner was so strongly emphasized? It all comes down to continued learning.”
Citing a 2009 Emory University study that determined “medical professionals who [had] been working in the field for years could be re-inspired to be more humanistic,” the Daily Nurse believes continuing education programs do hold promise. We think so, too, of course. As we teach physical exam skills not only to our own faculty, residents and students but also to many educators from around the world (see our annual symposium), we see firsthand how interactions at the bedside help clinicians practice better medicine.
Humility is an underappreciated skill in a time of global budgets, evidenced based approaches, and cost-containment. The bright, well-read, talented medical students who may lack humility are not uncommon.
Patient-centered care is an important aspect of the National Strategy for Quality Improvement on Health Care. As such, healthcare institutions are strongly focusing on the patient-physician relationship and the patient experience.
The editor-in-chief of Medscape, Dr. Eric Topol, visited Stanford to sit down and do an interview with our Dr. Vergese for the Medscape One-on-One online video series.
Peter Conrad, a sociologist at Brandeis University, spoke of the rise and fall of the medical authority in the doctor patient office encounter in his many scholarly articles. With the internet becoming the “elephant in the doctor’s office,” the dynamic of medical authority has certainly changed…