<h2>Introduction</h2> Better physician-patient communication is linked to increased patient satisfaction and patient adherence to medication and treatment regimens as well as to improved clinical outcomes 1 - 4 . Practicing orthopaedic surgeons have received limited formal education in the communication skills necessary for patient-centered care; yet, we perform over 100,000 medical interviews during our careers 5 . Patient-centered care involves treating patients as partners, involving them in decision-making, and enlisting their sense of responsibility for their care while respecting their individual values and concerns 6 , 7 . We have tended to focus mainly on the technical aspects of our care-giving 8 . We do not seem to be very good communicators 9 , 10 . In 1998, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) conducted an extensive national survey to which 807 patients and 700 orthopaedic surgeons responded 11 . The patients and surgeons were asked to rate orthopaedic surgeons with use of the same categories. Patients rated technical skills as important ("hightech") but valued communication skills equally ("high-touch") 12 ( Table I ). According to this survey, 75% of the orthopaedic surgeons believed that they communicated satisfactorily with their patients, but only 21% of the orthopaedic
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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