Relationship of a Physician’s Well-Being to Interactions with Patients: Practices of the Highest Performing Physicians on the Art of Medicine Patient Survey

Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Medical Group, The Permanente Federation

Tom Janisse, MD

Fall 2008 - Volume 12 Number 4


What do physicians do to most satisfy their patients? And how do they maintain a state of well-being in their clinical practice? The answers to these questions have unfolded in a series of studies over seven years.

Recent Studies

Pilot Study

In 2001, a pilot study was conducted in Portland, OR to explore the communication practices of physicians who scored highest on the Art of Medicine (AOM) Patient Survey (see Sidebar: Art of Medicine Attributes), five years post implementation. The 2002 published report cited five core practices that emerged from 21 top-performing physicians: courtesy and regard, attention, listening, presence, and caring.1

Garfield Study

This communication research continued in 2004 as part of two-region Garfield Memorial Fund research: MD-Patient Communication Study, part of the Clinician-Patient Communication Research Initiative.2 Researchers have consistently found the top predictors of overall patient satisfaction are the quality of the physician-patient relationship and of the contributing communications,3 yet there is limited understanding of the range of specific interaction behaviors associated with positive and negative patient perceptions and reactions.





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