1 in 5 Americans have trouble communicating with their doctor and 1 in 10 feel disrespected. How to help?

A 2001 survey by the Commonwealth Fund found that doctor-patient communication often fell short. One in 5 American adults had trouble communicating with their doctors, and 1 in 10 felt they had been treated disrespectfully during a recent health care visit.

Just funded through a generous $42-million grant, the University of Chicago aims to fix the communication errors and bring the patient-physician relationship back where it belongs.

Here is the example that started the whole process:

Kay Bucksbaum, whose husband made multi-billion fortune developing shopping centers around the world, said she was inspired by Dr. Mark Siegler, a medical ethicist at the University of Chicago who became the couple's internist when they moved to Chicago from Iowa 10 years ago.

In contrast, she recalled a doctor years ago who didn't listen to her when she told him what she thought was wrong with her -- and didn't apologize when she turned out to be right.

When her husband needed surgery, she said, Siegler "took my husband by the hand to meet the surgeon, introduced him, and told the surgeon something about my husband. He even scrubs up and watches his patients' surgeries when he can, she said. "And he encourages patients to call him "Mark."

The video below introduces the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence which is funded through $42 million grant to the University of Chicago to create a unique initiative that aims to improve the doctor-patient relationship and communication in medicine:

Disclaimer: I am an Allergist/Immunologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago.

NBC video:


New Bucksbaum Institute fosters doctor-patient communication
Benefactor Gives U of Chicago $42 Million to Work on Bedside Manner
A $42 Million Gift Aims at Improving Bedside Manner
The first three Bucksbaum scholars at UChicago http://goo.gl/gR7Pj
Do 'Nice' Doctors Make Better Doctors? http://goo.gl/uUn7C -- The Downside of Doctors Who Feel Your Pain - NYTimes http://goo.gl/VdSev

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