3 therapies every doctor should prescribe

Not every doctor’s approach to medicine is a fit for every patient. This is just as well, as patients have different mind sets as well. In the best of both worlds, each patient will find the doctor who meshes best with his or her style.

Aniruddha Malpani, MD“Humor is one of the most effective coping mechanisms available, and a regular dose can help both patients and doctors.”
-Aniruddha Malpani, MD, medical director of Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai, India

Different doctors prescribe different kinds of[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]…

[/s2If][s2If is_user_logged_in()] therapy—medications, injections, acupuncture, supplements, diets, and surgery.

No matter what their clinical approach, there are 3 kinds of therapy that all doctors should prescribe routinely:

Key Point: Prescribing information therapy (patient education), humor therapy (encouraging laughter), and bibliotherapy (medical support books) are 3 ways that you can help support patients in their care plans.
  1. Information therapy: This should be No. 1 (see “What is information therapy?” ). The English word doctor is derived from the Latin word “docere,” which means to teach. Educating patients is critically important, both for the doctor and the patient, so that they both have realistic expectations of what each expects and what the likely outcome is going to be. There are many tools available for educating patients, including online modalities. Information therapy should take place before, during, and after the visit, by both physicians and assistants.
  2. Humor therapy: Humor is one of the most effective coping mechanisms available, and a regular dose can help both patients and doctors. Good doctors try to make the patient feel comfortable and at ease, and humor can be a useful tool to do that. On a similar note, it’s a good idea to prescribe Laughter Therapy. For example, I tell all of the infertile couples that I treat to watch the movie Maybe Baby. This is not an educational film—it’s a romantic comedy about an infertile couple trying to have a baby. It stars the well-known British character Mr. Bean, and most patients find that watching the movie helps them cope better with their infertility.
  3.  Bibliotherapy: Many patients—especially those with chronic illnesses—feel cut off and isolated from the rest of the world. It can be difficult for them to find someone who understands what they are going through, and this feeling adds to their unhappiness and stress. Reading books about other patients who have dealt with—and often overcome—similar problems can be very powerful medicine. This strategy helps patients realize that others have “been there and done that,” which can inspire them.

These are common sense measures, so why is it important to provide these prescriptions to patients? For one, when a doctor advises a patient to do something, he or she is much more likely to do it. Even more importantly, this approach helps the patient realize that the doctor is an empathetic person who has his or her best interests at heart—not just a technician. And finally, prescribing these therapies will help the doctor become better, as he or she learns to see things from the patient’s point of view.

Aniruddha Malpani, MD Dr. Malpani is medical director of Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai, India, medical director of the HELP-Health Education Library for People, and author of a physician and patient education blog. He is an angel investor in Plus 91, which offers customized Web sites for doctors.


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This entry was posted in Business of Medicine, Practice Management and tagged , , , , , , . Volume: .


  1. nitin mistry
    Posted Nov 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    very good article. every doctor should follow this religiously, if they practice in the interest of the patient.

  2. renu dutt
    Posted Nov 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    everyone needs to practice these.

  3. Hari Gupta
    Posted Apr 2013 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Good idea these thing help doctor ,patient ,and patient relative .

    Posted May 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    alwys patient appreciate by using 3 pathies.you will be appreciate by patient

  5. Ravi Pandey
    Posted Mar 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Have read a sensible article after a long time.

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