AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. October 2001, Volume 3, Number 10.

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Fostering Trust in the Patient-Physician Relationship

One of the challenges the profession faces in shaping medicine's future, presented as part of VM's two-year commemorative issue.

Fostering Trust in the Patient-Physician Relationship assesses the significance of trust in the therapeutic relationship. Despite the changes in the health care system, disease will always create vulnerability, and patients will always need to have confidence that physicians are acting in their best interest.

A Physician by Any Other Name - by Audiey Kao, MD. PhD
The changing names used to describe physicians over the centuries challenge the integrity of and the trust within the patient-physician relationship.

Through the Student's Eyes: "But I Don't Eat Sweets" - by Michael Bevins
A medical student's encounter with a woman who claims to not eat sweets but has diabetes highlights the need for a relationship of mutual understanding and responsibility between the physician and patient.

The Trend Toward Casual Dress and Address in the Medical Profession - by Sara Taub and Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD
The trend toward casual address and dress in the medical profession could reinforce the power differential that already exists between patient and physician and adversely affect the patient-physician relationship.

Mona, Is That You?
The case of a young, olive-skinned female with thaasophobia is highlighted to explore to what extent physicians need to go to protect patient privacy.

The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.