As I approached retirement from the clinical practice of ophthalmology, I took to writing to advocate for patients and physicians. I posted articles on my blog and on popular social media platforms. One of my essays on KevinMD was read by the Chief Executive Officer of a healthcare startup, and he contacted me through my website. We began a conversation that continues today, as I became an advisor to Vxtra Health.
My new book, Rebuilding Trust in Healthcare: A Doctor’s Prescription for a Post-Pandemic America, provides a message of hope in a time of uncertainty for patients, healthcare providers and policy makers. In this non-fiction narrative, I describe how trust develops between doctors and their patients and how internal and external factors contributed to distrust.
The coronavirus pandemic has underscored erosion of trust in healthcare that has been present long before the onset of COVID-19. My analysis of the myriad problems confronting our healthcare system is captured in a case-presentation format. I describe my assessment and plan for rebuilding trust in clear language for patients, healthcare providers and policy makers.
The patient-physician relationship should be the fundamental building block for any proposal for healthcare reform. That relationship represents a sacred pact—an expression of mutual trust dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks. When I became a physician, I took the Hippocratic oath, an expression of altruism toward my fellow human beings. However, working in the world of modern medical care, doctors face challenges for living up to the tenets of the oath. Advocating for patients and for physicians has been a passion of mine throughout a medical career spanning four decades.
--Paul Pender, MD
Early Arrival Press has scheduled a Fall 2020 release of Dr. Pender’s new book, Rebuilding Trust in Healthcare: A Doctor’s Prescription for a Post-Pandemic America. Dr. Pender acknowledges that rebuilding trust in healthcare is a major challenge.
This book will tell a complex story of what is needed for trust to develop and how it became compromised. It will describe where we are now, in the middle of a pandemic, trying to assess the physical and psychological damage to our healthcare workers, as well as the economic damage to facilities and practices. And finally, I will assess the problems diagnosed and will suggest possible treatment plans that may positively impact the future of healthcare and how it is delivered. Rebuilding trust won’t be easy, but it’s vital to our responsibilities for the health of all Americans.
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