A self professed physician, an in-demand nurse practitioner, and a pediatrician all have doctors who have a reputation for being more aggressive and not caring as much about patients, according to new research.
Dr. Daniel P. Rios, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg School of Management, analyzed data from a national survey that found a doctor’s willingness to treat a patient’s health issues has been declining over time.
The survey included more than 1,000 U.S. adults who were asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of the doctor they see, along with other demographic data.
Dr. Ros found that in 2017, 61% of self-professed physicians felt they were more aggressive than a previous survey, compared to 49% of other physicians.
But this trend has not been uniform across doctors.
In fact, the gap between self- and other-professionals has widened over the past three years.
For example, in 2017 and 2018, 47% of doctors felt they had less patient-centered attitudes toward patients, compared with 36% of physicians who said they had more patient-focused attitudes.
Dr Rios also found that doctors are less likely to give care to patients who have preexisting conditions than doctors who do not.
In 2017, 36% said they were willing to help patients with preexistent conditions while 23% said no.
The difference between this figure and the number who say no increased to 39% in 2018, the year after the survey began.
Dr P.S., who conducted the survey, wrote that his findings show physicians are not treating patients with more urgency and care as much as they used to.
“When I say they are more patient focused, I do not mean that they care less about patients’ health.
Rather, they are treating more often with less urgency and less care,” Dr. P.R. wrote in a news release.
“They are treating patients differently with less concern.”
Dr. Rieses study did not examine what factors may explain the increased patient care.
But the new research does provide some insight into the reasons doctors might be less patient focused.
In particular, he found that physicians are more likely to use “diagnostic” terms like “treatment,” “treatment options,” and “diagnosis” in their prescribing, which can help them reduce the number of visits they make to patients.
Dr Rios’ research also found physicians who used these terms were more likely than physicians who did not use them to give more aggressive treatments.
Dr Rosenfeld also noted that some of the other factors that can explain the higher patient care rates may also be tied to the increased pressure on physicians.
For example, more patients are coming to physicians because of high costs, which makes it more likely that physicians will prescribe the same medications and more often, he wrote.
Dr D.K., who was not involved in the study, said the results are a welcome reminder that people are still having a hard time finding doctors who will treat them with respect.
“They’re still not really seeing that the doctor is someone who really cares about them.
And that’s a shame because when they do see that they’re going to treat them well, they’re not going to see it as the greatest thing,” he said.