A doctor’s communication and interpersonal skills encompass their ability to gather information in order to facilitate an accurate diagnosis, counsel appropriately, give therapeutic instructions, and establish a caring doctor-patient relationship. These core skills are essential for the effective delivery of healthcare. Recent experimental evidence indicates that the healthcare provider’s negative verbal suggestions directly affect the patient by inducing anticipatory anxiety. This triggers the activation of cholecystokinin, which in turn facilitates pain perception.
Furthermore, it is estimated that by the year 2050, more than half of the US population will be comprised of racial minorities. This takes on greater importance when, as growing body of evidence demonstrates, the patients’ clinical outcome is directly affected by the doctor-patient relationship. Particular attention should be paid to the evidence that racial and ethnic minorities receive lower quality healthcare than Caucasians- even when they are insured to the same degree and other healthcare access related factors are the same.