Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Kendrick Curtis

Second Advisor

Stephen Currow

Third Advisor

James J. North, Jr.


Problem. The defining emphasis of Loma Linda University Medical Center is to “Continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus” and “Make man whole” through a whole-person care approach. This study aims to determine why a significant number of patients fail to establish rapport with their care providers resulting in less than desirable healing outcomes and longer hospital stays.

Method. A Qualitative Research study was conducted with 12 interviewees to ascertain their insight of what comprised an excellent care partnership with their medical providers and, conversely, what constituted unacceptable care in their view. A representative balance of diversities in ethnicity, culture, age, gender, medical diagnosis and religion among the patient participants was achieved by selecting the first 12 former patients who agreed to contribute to the study.

Results. Study participants confirmed that effective communication is the basis for the establishment of trust in the provider/patient relationship. They are more apt to comply with recommendations for treatment, experience greater satisfaction with their care and are less inclined to seek legal redress in the event that treatment is unsuccessful if a trusting and responsive relationship with their provider is achieved. Partnership rather than paternalism is their preferred model for the ideal doctor or care provider relationship.

Conclusions. Care providers best connect with patients by engaging intentionally with them regarding their medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. The additional time and effort invested in good communication pays dividends in securing patients’ cooperation and investment in their care. Patients do not appreciate condescension, apparent disinterest in them as persons or being treated just as a case or as a disease to be beaten. A physician or care provider that manifests approachability, listens well, follows up with what is learned and goes above and beyond the call of duty is seen as a valuable asset by the patient and the institution.

Subject Area

Medical care--California--Loma Linda, Holistic medicine--California--Loma Linda, Physician and patient

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.