Complexity theory has been used to view the patient-physician relationship as constituted by complex responsive processes of relating. It describes an emergent, psychosocial relational process through which patients and physicians continually and reciprocally influence each other's behavior and experience. As psychosocial responses are necessarily biopsychosocial responses, patients and physicians must likewise be influencing each other's psychobiology. This mutual influence may be subjectively experienced as empathy, and may be skillfully employed by the clinician to directly improve the patient's psychobiology.
Recommended CitationAdler, Herbert M., "Toward a biopsychosocial understanding of the patient-physician relationship: an emerging dialogue" (2007). Department of Family & Community Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 14.