Wherever you are in the world, it is likely that you are working in an increasingly challenging environment.
Financial constraints in your workplace and changes to how healthcare is delivered, and by whom, are complex issues affecting many of today’s doctors. Globally the population is living longer and presenting with multiple comorbidities that demand increasingly complex interventions.
Patient expectations are growing – rightly patients expect high quality, safe care, delivered in a respectful, clearly communicated manner – but there has been a change in the doctor–patient relationship and this is something MPS has written about extensively. The patient is now a consumer and the health service has had to adapt accordingly.
These higher expectations mean that patients are more likely to complain about their care. This is something we have been seeing in numerous reports of growing numbers of complaints against doctors; there is no other evidence that the profession’s standards are declining. I have personally heard concerns from our members that the gap between expectations and deliverables is widening, and that they are facing pressures to do more with less.
It is in times of great stress that your professional qualities come to the fore. Your sense of personal responsibility, pride in the care you deliver to patients, and your aspiration towards improvement are decisive attributes that can make all the difference when under pressure. In such moments your professionalism has never been more important.
Dr Stephanie Bown
MPS Director of Policy, Communications and Marketing
Disclaimer: All information in this issue is correct at time of publishing (January 2013).