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The Village Doctor: How Doctors Can Treat You Better

Have you ever gone to the doctor's just to ask something simple and had a really bad experience?
This may be just my opinion, but sometimes it seems like the days of the family doctor are over. It takes longer and longer to schedule appointments, see someone qualified, or get some simple advice. Many of us need medical care or advice at least once a month. Some of us, unfortunately, need to go more often than that. 
There used to be area doctors, the so called 'village doctors'. These were doctors you could go see whenever you had a problem or a question. They wouldn't keep you waiting long and they would know you well enough to know when your problem is real, when it might be psychological or actually something else, because they've been there for you in other times, they know you, and so know how to help you. 
Today, many that go to the doctor with problems in their daily lives hear that their problems are 'stress-related' but don't know the reason or how to stop it. Doctors today are encouraged to know more, but ask less. They have access to huge amounts of medical information, but rarely take the time to have a real conversation with a patient to find out about other factors in their lives including how they actually live them.
The Biopsychosocial Approach
The Biopsychosocial model, or BPS, instructs the medical professional to takenot only the sheer physical status of the patient at a given point, relying on physical measurements, but to take other factors in. These factors may be psychological (thoughts, emotions, behaviors) and/or social (socio-economical statues, environmental and cultural issues).
This model is seeing a resurrection now, in private practice. More and more doctors are giving more of their time to their patients so they can understand their holistic view point, including psychological and social stresses that may cause the illness.  We are actually going back to go forward; adopting an old method to go with today's technology. Some doctors are even going online so patients can easily get a few minutes of advice whenever they need it.
The problem is that private practice is expensive, while most patients who could really use a few words of advice once in a while, end up having to schedule long appointments that are hard to get to and take too long to reach. They often end up in a 15-30 minute encounter that feels rushed and unsatisfactory, while the doctor rushes to the next appointment. 
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Related Topics: tips, advice, health, doctor, village doctor
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