Most of the existing literature on trust between patients and physicians focuses on whether patients trust their clinicians. When medical paternalism was the dominant model in health care, this focus may have been logical: if the physician knows best, the main role of patients is to trust and follow the guidance of physicians. But in the “new age of patient autonomy,”1 a growing, but still limited, evidence base demonstrates the efficacy of patient-physician partnerships and co-produced care to improve quality and safety of care, patient health outcomes, and patient experience. A 2017 National Academy of Medicine report highlighted the potential of shared decision making, advance care planning, and family involvement to improve health outcomes.2 Without intentional cultivation of these often-neglected aspects of patient-physician relationships, increasing reciprocal trust between patients and physicians—an important aspect of both quality of care and positive experiences with care for patients, families, and professionals—will remain an elusive goal.
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Grob R, Darien G, Meyers D. Why Physicians Should Trust in Patients. JAMA. Published online March 22, 2019321(14):1347–1348. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1500
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