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Poll: Are You Attached To Your Doctor?

Most doctors are drawn to a career in medicine in large part because they sincerely wanted to help people, and most patients seek out doctors because they want and need help. Yet here we are, wanting to help (doctors) and needing help (patients), and somehow we’ve become disconnected and dissatisfied.

To take the pulse on how patients perceive their current physician relationship, Revolution Health offered this poll on our homepage (this is a sample of 642 respondents):

Q: Are you attached to your doctor?

  • Yes, very much so – 24%
  • Somewhat – 21.9%
  • Not really – 20.4%
  • Not at all – 33.5%

There are two ways to look at this, I suppose. The “glass half full” camp might say that 45.9% of people are very much or somewhat attached to their doctor, and that means that a large minority of folks are in a doctor-patient relationship that is meaningful to them.

The “glass half empty” perspective would suggest that 53.9% of people have no perceived personal caring physician in their lives.

I don’t know how people would have responded to such a poll 50 years ago, but I have a feeling that it would have skewed much higher towards the “very attached” end of the scale.

I know that this poll is limited in its scope and significance, but are you surprised by the results?

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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3 Responses to “Poll: Are You Attached To Your Doctor?”

  1. PearlsAndDreams says:

    gave me a lot to think about.

  2. Trisha-ifw says:

    I’m not surprised.  Its hard to get attached to someone you only see for about 15 minutes once a year.  Maybe after many, many years – but even that can only happen if you live in the same place for a long time to make it possible to see the same doctor for that long.  

  3. StacyBStryerMD says:

    Val,  I’m not surprised but, as a pediatrician, Iam a little bit saddened.  Unlike internists, pediatricians see their patients frequently in the first few years of life.  And they often will treat entire families of children from infancy through college.  One of my favorite parts about being a pediatrician is becoming attached to a family and visa versa, and watching them grow.

    I do see a difference these days as compared to previously.  With minute clinics and after hours urgent care clinics, we don’t see our patients as much as we did in the past. 

    I do think that we are all losing out a little by not having the same relationship as we did in the past.  We don’t know our patients as well and they aren’t as comfortable with us and, therefore, are less likely to talk about high risk behaviors, depression, and other sensitive topics.

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