There are many changes appearing to be gradually taking place in the Health Care System. Such changes involve the patient taking a greater interest and active part in their own Personal Healthcare. People are beginning to be aware of their own potential healing power, thus changing and improving the patient-physician relationship. Now patients are asking their doctors about their illnesses and are more informed on issues which concern their health. As a result, higher quality, fewer errors, and more positive opinions of the Health System have been reported.

The image that portraits the Doctor as this knowledgable smart person and patient as the passive recipient is changing. Even the word patient is becoming obsolete. Now a pattern of a Team is emerging in which the role of the physician as a consultant and where the patient takes a more active role in managing his own health.

Investigations on the mind-body relationship indicate that by taking a greater control of his treatment, the patient himself contributes to the improvement of his health. In the specific case of chronic conditions such as Diabetes, patients taking part by interacting and in conversations with their physicians have resulted in improved Healthcare, and the cost of that care.

It has been consistently proven that the beliefs, attitudes, and expectations of the patient have a significant effect on his response to treatment.

As explained by Drs. David Sobel and Robert Ornstein in their “The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook”, an efficient medical teamwork should include:

  • Highly qualified health professionals committed to take personal responsibility for directing patient´s care, and providing them with compassion and trust.
  • Well informed and assertive patients will then be willing to take responsibility for their treatment. They must commit to carry out the treatment package agreed on and specially planned for them by their Health Care Team.

Furthermore, it should be emphasized that the proposed treatment plan will extend your life, relieve symptoms, and improve their ability to actually function and take part in daily living with less complications.

An ideal medical teamwork specializing in Diabetes, in addition to the Endocrinologist and the Specialized Consultant, should have a Nutritionist, a Educator in Diabetes, and a Behavioral Psychologist. This latter specialist will provide direct services to the patients by showing them about new healthful habits which relate to an improved control of their glycemia.

Now, the following recommendations are intended to make sure that the Professional Teamwork make decisions which will be agreeable to the Medical Team and also in agreement with the personal preferences of the patient:

  1. Consultants in Healthcare:
  • Should foster good communication with their patents.
  • Use an easy understandable vocabulary so as to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Encourage the patients to ask questions about the medical plan created for them. Asking questions and taking an active part during their visit to their physician should not considered a sign of bad manners or rudeness.
  1. Patients:
  • They must bring to their meetings with the Team a written list of questions indicating those considered as priorities and wanted to be discussed by the Team.
  • Clearly express their fears and concerns.
  • Be concise and specific.
  • Be open and honest.
  • Be assertive and try to be positive.

At the end of the meeting, a comprehensive Treatment Plan should have been formulated containing details about the patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, and specific recommendations for controlling their Diabetes.


About the author

Dr. Maritza Bendayan

Dr. Maritza Bendayan

Clinical psychologist with a specialization in Cognitive Psychotherapy. Maritza has more that 30 years of experience as part of a multidisciplinary team for the management of conduct, development and Child neurology; Endocrine-Pediatrics and Diabetes Obesity.