President’s Message

September 2018

Connecting with patients… and one another. It’s the relationship!

Dr. Ramona Seidel, MD, FAAFP

We all know how important relationships are for successful patient care.

When patients need better blood pressure control, we need to create that relationship of trust.  How else could we convince the asymptomatic and dubious patient to pay for a pill with potential side effects and then return for follow up?

And what of our relationships with our physician colleagues?  It turns out, face to face time is valuable not just for our patients’ well-being but for our own.

Dr. Nicolas Nguyen, in NEJM notes the importance of peer support in reducing physician burn out and improving retention.  He writes, “Through periodic dinners and retreats, and a group email list created to cultivate dialogue among area providers, clinicians soon discovered their colleagues felt just as overwhelmed, isolated, and helpless. In time, case consultations, socialization, and peer support transformed basic camaraderie into meaningful catharsis.”  (bit.ly/2OTU0Ys)

If you work in a clinical system where physicians no longer connect for grand rounds, staff meetings, or CME, consider initiating a revival of face to face events.

If you lack the leadership capacity to make changes in your office or health system, consider attending professional events such as live CME, medical conferences, foundation fundraisers, medical school reunions, or medical association meetings (such as the AAFP’s FMX in New Orleans).

At an even more grass roots level, consider spear heading your own peer support network.  It could start as an informal happy hour… 

We connect with patients to build relationships every day.  We should do it with one another as well!

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