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Effective communication key to effective healthcare

Jan. 26, 2024, 10:24 a.m.

Original article published in The Paper



Whether it’s your spouse, friend, or even your hair stylist, the way to achieve a lasting and trusting relationship is clear and open communication. Your relationship with your medical provider is no different.

As a Physician Assistant with Burke Primary Care, I've come to realize that one of the most powerful tools in healthcare isn't groundbreaking surgery or a new medication; it's the power of effective communication. In this article, I want to emphasize its importance in fostering a strong relationship with your family medical provider. 

Trust is the Foundation 

Trust forms the bedrock of any relationship, including the one you have with your family provider. Establishing trust is a two-way street; it requires honesty, empathy, and active listening from both sides.

 At Burke Primary Care, we aim to create a safe space where our patients feel comfortable discussing their health concerns openly. Similarly, patients benefit greatly when they trust their medical provider’s expertise and guidance. 

Open and Honest Communication 

Effective communication in healthcare isn't just about talking; it's about truly understanding each other. Patients should feel empowered to voice their concerns, ask questions, and share their healthcare goals without hesitation.

On the flip side, medical providers should communicate information in a clear, understandable manner, avoiding medical jargon that might be confusing.

When both parties communicate openly and honestly, it paves the way for better-shared decision-making regarding health and treatment options. 

Building a Partnership 

The patient-provider relationship shouldn't be one-sided. Instead, it should be a partnership where both parties work together towards a common goal: the patient's health and well-being.

I encourage my patients to take an active role in their healthcare journey. This involves discussing treatment preferences, understanding the implications of lifestyle choices, and collaborating on a plan that aligns with their goals. 

Benefits of Strong Patient-Physician Relationships 

The advantages of an effective patient-physician relationship are far-reaching. Patients with a strong bond with their healthcare providers tend to have better health outcomes.

This leads to patients having better adherence to treatment plans, improved satisfaction with care, and a greater sense of control over their health. 

When patients communicate their symptoms and concerns clearly, providers can make accurate diagnoses more swiftly, reducing unnecessary tests and treatments. 

Tips for Improving Communication with Your Family Physician

Come Prepared 

Before your appointment, jot down any symptoms, questions, or concerns you have. This ensures we cover all important points during your visit, and your concerns are addressed. 

Ask Questions 

Don't hesitate to ask us for clarification if something isn't clear. As your medical provider, it’s important to us that you understand and feel comfortable with our shared plan. 

Be Honest 

Share all relevant information, even if it might feel uncomfortable. We need a complete picture of your health to provide the best care possible. 


If you have questions or concerns after your appointment about your care plan, medications, or referral, don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you beyond the consultation room. 

The relationship between a patient and their family provider is more than just a series of medical consultations; it's a partnership based on trust, open communication, and mutual respect.

By fostering strong relationships with your medical provider, you're not just investing in your health but also paving the way for a more satisfying and effective healthcare journey.

As the saying goes, “communication is key.” So, whether discussing a concerning symptom or seeking preventive care, prioritize open and honest communication with your family medical provider – it's the cornerstone of your healthier tomorrow. 

I would be happy to demonstrate the importance of communication with you at Burke Primary Care, until then, stay healthy and keep those lines of communication open! 

ABOUT BURKE PRIMARY CARE: Burke Primary Care is a locally owned, independent practice dedicated to providing the highest-quality medical care to Burke County residents and industry.

The Morganton-based practice offers a comprehensive list of ancillary services under one roof to support the needs of industry and patients of all ages including: Occupational health; primary care; radiology services; 3D mammography; laboratory pediatric and geriatric care, same day visits for acute care needs, wellness and preventive visits; care for chronic illnesses and sports medicine while being supported by a local hospitalists program for all admissions.

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