When the Doctor’s Words Aren’t Soothing – NYTimes.com

Largely a collection of ‘horror stories’ about bad communications, verbal and non-verbal, and a demand for medical students to take the ‘soft courses’ on how to communicate (and when) bad news. Again, my experience has been largely positive with my medical team. As usual, it comes down to common sense (sometimes not so common!):

  • Timeliness: be as timely as possible to reduce the waiting time and associated anxiety
  • Setting: ensure appropriate and private, with family members if needed
  • Timing: do not foreshadow bad news by calling before a long weekend or equivalent and say we need to see you (likely signifies bad news, although there is the occasional exception)

When the Doctor’s Words Aren’t Soothing – NYTimes.com.

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