I have been a physician since 1977. It has always been my firm conviction that the relationship between a doctor and his patient is a very special arrangement, almost sacred in nature. That relationship should be based upon mutual respect. There should be sincere concern for the patient's welfare on the part of the physician. There should be genuine confidence in the physician's judgement on the part of the patient.
I believe that physician and patient should have a partnership in decision making. While I always seek to make forthright and appropriate treatment recommendations, after careful consideration of a diagnosis, I always respect the patient's decision on the course of action to be followed. Regrettably, I am not always able to accede to a patient's request for a course of treatment. For example, improper use of antibiotics has been a major problem for many years, and has become a critical problem now after the appearance of multiple drug resistent microorganisms. For years, antibiotic medications appropriate for treating bacterial infections have been prescribed for treatment of viral illness, with significant risk to the patient in a number of ways. In like fashion, opioid pain medications, often quite proper in treatment, have too often been prescribed for treatment of conditions better addressed in other ways.
In recent years, physicians have faced pressures of time and economy resulting in office visits that failed to meet patient needs and expectations. I have always resisted those pressures and will definitely make an effort to do so in the future. I have always made a conscientious effort to provide every patient the best I can offer in every way. I will continue to do so in the future.
I am looking forward to maintaining a long and meaningful relationship with all of my new and established patients.
Stephen M. Herman MD