There has been some research into “contextual” care showing that “quality” is improved when care is given in the right context. Every patient comes with a new context. As providers and people, we bring a new context to our interactions with patients. I imagine that the narrower the context of the provider, the more alienation could occur in the mind of the patient/parent.
How important this is to the future of medicine; and how this has affected the public’s view of medicine. People need confidence in doctors and practitioners. Trust is important to their seeking care in the first place. Finding value in what the provider has to say will more likely occur if the provider relates in meaningful ways. Particularly, in pediatrics, providing expert care requires listening and attention to who you are talking to. Diagnosis and prescription is a small first step in an important process, that hopefully gains strength over time.
Being a good doctor or nurse practitioner involves retaining the patient! As well, the parent (and older child/adolescent) needs to feel like they are on the same page as the provider, that there is mutual understanding of concerns; the illness, the school and the child’s functioning in that “context”, etc.
And don’t forget the value of humor. Somewhere in every visit there can be an exchange of the “lighter side”. There are many ways to provide encouragement and a positive perspective. Doctors and patients need to enjoy their experience together.