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Doctor–Patient Relationship

The doctor-patient relationship is based on mutual respect and collaboration. In this partnership, both the doctor and the patient have rights as well as responsibilities. AMA members are guided by the AMA Code of Ethics and Medical Registration Board of Victoria guidelines.

Some things to consider:

Your role in the partnership

  • If you think you have a complex problem or have a number of issues to talk about – ask for a longer appointment when you book.
  • Ask questions about your treatment, procedures, prescriptions and medications
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking natural therapies, acupuncture or alternative medicines
  • If this is your first appointment, tell your doctor about your past health problems. Every piece of information you provide will help the doctor to make a diagnosis.
  • If you are taking medication, bring it with you when you see your doctor
  • Contact your doctor straight away if the medication causes you any problems
  • Listen to the doctor’s advice. Not all illnesses need prescriptions for medication. 
  • Follow the treatment your doctor prescribes.
  • Your doctor will discuss tests or referrals if they are needed and will help you.
  • Try to keep your appointments and let your doctor know if you can’t get there. 

The doctor’s role in the partnership

  • Doctors should keep accurate and comprehensive records of their consultations with you.
  • They should advise you on all the treatment options they know about.
  • Doctors should try to follow appointment times to reduce waiting time, or let you know if they are running behind schedule. Patients can expect doctors to provide a comfortable reception lounge.
  • They should provide clear information about the way the practice bills you.

AMA-member doctors are guided by our Code of Ethics which extensively outline their responsibilities to patients.