Eugene Crystal

The Doctor-Patient Relationship: Building Trust & Patient Empowerment

Patients are oftentimes anxious and vulnerable in medical settings. They are concerned for their health and their well-being, and don’t know what to expect next or how to make important decisions about their health.

For this reason, it is important to create a positive doctor-patient relationship to help ease fears, build trust and provide the support that they need. This support includes respect, compassion and effective communication where the sharing of information allows patients to make informed decisions.

We asked cardiologist Dr. Eugene Crystal of the Schulich Heart Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, one of Toronto’s top doctors, about building trust with his patients and how his proudest accomplishment has to do with patient empowerment.

How do you build trust with a patient in your care?

As a believer in patient-centred care, honest education of individual patients on their options going forward is the most important part. Empowering the patient with knowledge is key to the journey towards personal well being.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a physician?

My proudest accomplishment as a physician is to witness my patients and their families live a better life. The patients’ expectations are frequently well beyond what medical science can deliver today. Combining best professional care with patient empowerment frequently leads to a great outcome, even in very challenging medical circumstances. I am extraordinarily proud of many of my patients who were able to contribute to their own healing process. Additionally, I take pride in the teams I work with who are able to support the patient in their journey.

Dr. Eugene Crystal

Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Dr. Eugene Crystal is a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at the Schulich Heart Centre, founder of the Arrhythmia Services at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He serves as an Associate Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. He’s authored many peer-reviewed manuscripts and holds numerous patents in the field of cardiology. A member of over 15 scientific committees, a reviewer for numerous journals and co-appointed as Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Women’s College Hospital.