The Doctor/Patient Relationship with Dr. Milka Torbarina

By Amanda Chambers

On this week's episode of Brooklyn Savvy, Dr. Milka Torbarina, Toni, and the Savvy panelistas delve into the issue of the ever-changing doctor/patient relationship. Dr. Torbarina offers her perspective on the subject and how she has managed her own practice as an OBGYN. Toni and the panelistas also share their personal experiences with doctors and their opinions about what needs to be fixed regarding the treatment of patients.

“I think it’s very important… to really get to know the patient even though you’re on a computer.”
— Dr. Milka Torbarina

This week's discussion starts by the panelistas weighing the consequences that technology has had on the doctor/patient relationship. Oftentimes, doctors can be impersonal with their patients because their eyes are glued to a computer screen. This detachedness can also be attributed to doctors' education, where science can overshadow social skills and bedside manner.

Dr. Torbarina then discusses the alarming suicide rates among physicians, noting the statistic as approximately 200 per year. Although one's mental state cannot primarily be connected to his or her career, the figure clearly shows that there is some dissatisfaction with profession among doctors. Perhaps this is due to stress or "burnout," given the pressure that comes with the job. No matter the cause, there is an evident need for change in the medical field.

“Measuring the quality of care is very difficult.”
— Lisa Bing, Panelista

Dr. Milka Torbarina was premed at Queens College before graduating from Tufts University School of Medicine. She was the first person from Queens College to study at Tufts. She then went on to LA County Medical Center, where she was the first student from Tufts. She is currently focusing on her literary career. You can learn more about Dr. Torbarina in her book, "My Life Along the Long Island Expressway," which came out last year.

Be sure to tune in to hear the full discussion with Dr. Torbarina, Toni, and the Savvy panelistas. Missed the episode yesterday? Don't worry! You can catch it again tonight at 7:30 pm and Thursday at 3:00 pm, or visit us online at