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Editor's Correspondence
October 10, 2005

On the Other Side of the Fence

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2005 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2005

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(18):2170. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.18.2170-b

I read the editorial by Greenland1 with interest. As a nurse-attorney who has been in the health care field for many years, my observation is that this experience is not unique and is actually similar to that of many other physicians. So often, physicians begin to truly understand what patients need when finding themselves on the “other side of the fence” in the health care system. From a risk management perspective, this is a good thing. They often go on to improve their practice style to take into account the “intangibles” that patients are looking for—trust, respect, commitment, and caring. Studies have demonstrated that when these elements are present in a physician-patient relationship, satisfaction increases and the likelihood of litigation decreases.