I agree completely about the need to take time and listen to patients ["Putting Extra 'Care' Into Health Care," May 1]. As a registered nurse managing an HIV and a cancer program, I can attest to the difference it makes when a patient is treated with respect and understanding. But it shouldn't take the huge fees some of the doctors in this article asked for to get that kind of care. I belong to an HMO and my primary care physician, Dr. Andrea Karp, always makes the extra effort to ensure that all her patients get that special feeling. I also see the same kind of care given to my patients (all Medicaid and DC Alliance) by many of our amazing providers in the HMO that I work for. The personal touch shouldn't have to cost $1,000 for 90 minutes.
Judith Levine BSN, RN
The personal care advocated by Marc Siegel makes a difference not only in the moment, but in the lasting memories of patients and their families. In my experience, some clinicians truly stand out: the neonatal nurse who did everything so we could cuddle our premature daughter on a Christmas Day; my high-risk specialist who weekly read and answered my written questions with respect and patience; the internist who gave us his home phone number when we learned of my husband's diagnosis with a rare and life-threatening disease. It's gratifying that compassion and caring relationships in health care are receiving attention.