Story image for Health Care from Forbes

A lot of attention is being paid lately to the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare. There is not question that artificial intelligence and related technologies will significantly benefit patients in many ways and transform aspects of medicine. That said, it is a serious mistake – in any way – to discount the extreme importance and value of the physician/patient relationship.

According to Jeffrey Friedman M.D., Director of Medicine at Community Health Associates and a member of MDVIP, “My ability to get the best medical results for my patients is based on my medical knowledge, clinical skills, and the rapport I have with them. For example, knowing them – not just their medical history – but how they approach caring for themselves and their anxieties around health issues enables me to come up with the best course of treatment and motivate just about all of them to take appropriate actions. In my practice I put in considerable time and effort to build solid relationships with my patients that regularly translate into better medical outcomes.”

“The interpersonal relationship between all physicians and their patients, but especially between primary care physicians and their patients is easily lost in today’s healthcare system,” says Daniel Carlin, M.D., CEO of WorldClinic and author of The World of Concierge Medicine. “Even when the relationship is conducted over the Internet or by phone, by building rapport with patients, physicians are going to likely be able to deliver advice and treatments that will be more beneficial to their patients. While databases and other forms of technology can help facilitate this process, it’s still about the rapport between doctor and patient.”

With the onrush and embracing of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, sometimes the human element is downplayed. The reality is that people are social animals, and the relationships they establish and nurture are critical. This is certainly the case when it comes to primary healthcare.


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