Terminating Treatment, Physician Perspective

The involuntary dissolution of an established physician-patient relationship can be one of the more difficult medical decisions a clinician must make. Cultivating a relationship and gaining the trust of patients is a fundamental skill in clinical medicine. Without trust, patients will not provide the necessary information for an accurate diagnosis and are less likely to comply with recommended treatment. The process of gaining trust and establishing a relationship is more overt in primary-care specialties, where it is often necessary to obtain sensitive historical details for clinical decision making. However, the establishment of trust is no less necessary in surgical specialties, where the consequences of clinical decision making are more immediate and where the risks of poor decision making are often higher.

In nonprofessional relationships, trust is ...

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