By Noah Alatza
Dr. Richard Frankel, Fishers, has practiced medicine for more than four decades, and his care-based innovations have kept him at the forefront of global studies.
In recognition of his many contributions to patient-focused care, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute announced June 11 the creation of the Richard Frankel Award for Creating a Loving Community.
“I am thrilled to be recognized for this honor,” Frankel said. “The Gold Foundation has been a leader in humanism and medicine, and to be recognized, it is really humbling.”
The award is in recognition of Frankel’s many contributions and achievements as a Regenstrief Institute investigator and as a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Most of Frankel’s work focuses on the social and emotional contexts of the doctor-patient relationship.
“Physicians are taught procedural skills, like reading an EKG, but it’s only within the past 10 years that medical schools have been doing formal training in communication skills,” Frankel said. “(Such as) giving the patient an opportunity to tell their story and the story of their illness rather than having a lot of machine questions asked to them.”
Frankel said it is important that physicians have empathy and respect when talking with their patients.
“We want patients to know and understand the recommendations physicians are making for them,” Frankel said. “Patients often don’t remember more than 50 percent of what is suggested for them, and making sure they understand is critically important when they leave the office or hospital.”
Frankel joined the Regenstrief Institute and IU School of Medicine faculties in 2002 and has devoted countless hours working to improve medical care.
Frankel has published more than 250 research and review articles, book and book chapters and made numerous presentations on clinician-patient communication and its effects on quality and safety.