A Q&A with Kevin B. Knopf MD, MPH, chairman of hematology and oncology at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California; firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: A successful patient-physician relationship depends upon effective bidirectional attention and mutual understanding. Many patients and physicians believe that common current versions of mandated electronic health records (EHRs) severely impede that interaction, especially eye contact. How can a competent and caring clinical oncologist overcome that problem?
A: For all my faults as a doctor, and I’m sure there are many, there is one thing I think I do correctly, and that is I am never on a computer in front of a patient.
I hear from many colleagues that they can be efficient and personable while going back and forth from the patient to their electronic health record (EHR)—and it is true there are various levels of skill here. However, none do as well, in my opinion, as a computer-free patient environment. I say this from my side as a patient having seen dozens of doctors myself—nothing compares to a doctor who spends all of their time looking you in the eye and interacting face to face. This human contact costs nothing, and yet is so vital. Continue reading…
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