Trust important in doctor-patient relationship

With the easy availability of information on the Internet, the doctor's job has evolved and become more challenging ("Patient care an art, a science, and a two-way street" by Mr Lee Teck Chuan; Nov 19).

Patient-doctor relationships require fine calibration.

Too much warmth may wrongly signal the extent to which the relationship may have developed.

Too little "tender loving care" may be taken as a signal of an aloof doctor.

But once mutual trust is there and a bond is successfully forged, patients can enjoy good medical care from the heart that is professional, yet kind and caring.

Genuine trust is important in a good patient-doctor relationship.

With more patients finding out their rights via the Internet, they may become more litigious.

It takes good calibration, mutual trust and understanding not to over- or under-treat. This must be agreed upon between doctor and patient.

For me, I am grateful to Dr Lui Hock Foong, Dr James Tan Siah Heng, Dr Pang Boon Chuan, Dr Boey Wah Keong, Professor Tan Ser Kiat, Professor Fong Kok Yong and many others who worked with me to deliver professional healthcare standards with empathy, compassion and care.

Juliana Ang Hiok Lian (Ms)