Thyroid Cancer: One Doctor-Patient Partnership—The Newcastle Butterfly Model

  • Kathleen A. Farnell
  • Richard D. Bliss
  • Ujjal K. Mallick


The doctor-patient partnership is a huge, rapidly expanding area within medicine and the benefits of close working relationships between physician and patient are now being widely recognized. Shared decision making between the parties (as opposed to paternalistic and informed) should now be an integral part of medicine as patient satisfaction and behavior including compliance and clinical outcomes are all improved with closer working relationships [1]. It is also a requirement for the UK’s medical regulatory body, the GMC, that “for a relationship between doctor and a patient to be effective, it should be a partnership based on openness, trust and good communication…” [2, 3]. The object of this chapter, therefore, is to review how a good doctor-patient partnership can produce outstanding results to the benefit of both parties by reviewing one such example in thyroid cancer rather than rehearse the arguments for different types of doctor-patient relationships.


Thyroid cancer, Patient’s perspective Patient-doctor partnership Patient education Expert patient as extended member of professional team Clearly defined role as a hospital employee Patient as honorary thyroid cancer adviser Patient advocate Improved communication with MDT Service improvements Counselling and on going survivorship support Public awareness Contribution to national guidelines Trials Audit Surveys Research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen A. Farnell
    • 1
  • Richard D. Bliss
    • 2
  • Ujjal K. Mallick
    • 3
  1. 1.Butterfly Thyroid Cancer TrustTyne and WearUK
  2. 2.The Newcastle upon Tyne HospitalsNHS Foundation TrustNewcastle upon TyneUK
  3. 3.Chief Investigator UK National “IoN” and HiLo Trials, Past Clinical Oncologist and Regional Thyroid MDT, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman HospitalNewcastle upon TyneUK

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