Compassion vs Efficiency… Which do YOU prefer?

2 Oct

Hello! My name is Michael Barness. I am a 2nd year psychiatry resident. Through my years in medical school and as a doctor i have worked in many hospitals across the US. In my opinion, listening carefully, showing empathy, and building rapport are 3 important components to patient care. Regardless of which field of medicine, from psychiatry to family medicine, surgery, ob-gyn,pediatrics. Ok maybe not pathology (who primarily work with corpses) but you get the point. I would like to elaborate on each of those components shortly. First ask yourself this question, “what did you least like about your doctors care?” Most likely it will involve something related to the above 3 components. Very often patients feel they are hurried and not explained components of their care. They do not like the bed side manner and feel as though the doctor did not listen to their needs. Rarely will you hear people complain that the doctor was not smart enough or not properly trained. It is interesting how components of the doctors demeanor and social interaction influence how most people define a good or bad doctor.

So why do patients feel this way? Are doctors really not listening and hurrying out of the office or hospital room? There are actually circumstances that place pressure on doctors to work quickly and efficiently. From a numbers point of view, the quicker the doctor can manage patients the more patients he/she can treat. The more people we treat, the more people who can get care and get healthier. This becomes even more important in an emergency room setting. Lets not forget that working quick and efficiently increases productivity in a shorter time. This can reduce cost and save money. Who doesn’t like to save money?

Unfortunately working quickly can compromise patient care. It can cause errors and of course unhappy patients. When patients are unhappy problems can occur and the complexity of the case increases. An ideal situation would be to work fast and effectively without compromising patient care. I sometimes wonder if a critical component to patient care is lost when working too quickly in the medical field. Can proper diagnosis and management occur if you have to gather information and make an accurate assessment and plan? Can patients still view the physician as helpful in fast and efficient patient/doctor interactions?

If you would be interested in reading the second half of this article please comment below…

Q & A with a Psychiatrist

2 Oct

Hello and thanks for reading! I’m Dr. Michael Barness M.D.

Would lIke to field suggestions from readers about topics related to mental health. If you enjoy reading blogs or articles related to psychology, psychiatry, neurology or even any field of medicine please comment with suggestions. Here are some topics for you all to choose from.

Depression / Bipolar

Hearing voices

Psychiatric medications

Electroconvulsive therapy


Anxiety and Panic


Multiple personality

Eating Disorders



Mind body connection

Again these are just suggestions. Please feel free to request a different or more specific question.