In Monday's Wall Street Journal, family physician Dr. Benjamin Brewer made a passionate and compelling case for protecting and shoring-up the relationship between the family practitioner and patient.
A close and long-standing relationship benefits both parties -- patients gain from going to a physician who knows them well, and physicians get to know their patients and understand their needs. I particularly liked the following paragraph:
One of the joys of being a family doctor is the relationships that I've developed with my patients over the last 10 years. It's the source of energy that keeps me going after a night up delivering babies or a day of business hassles. The sense of being needed and contributing to the fabric of the community is the best job satisfaction there is.
For the benefit of the patient and the community, Dr. Brewer explained that we need to preserve the doctor-patient relationship -- and that quality care can be delivered at a fair cost.