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Practice tip of the week: Communicating bad news to your patients


Your weekly dose of wisdom from the Physicians Practice experts.

lightbulb doodle © Matias - stock.adobe.com

lightbulb doodle © Matias - stock.adobe.com

With all the useful information available on Physicians Practice, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

With this in mind, the tip of the week is a chance to reflect on some of the wisdom found all across the site. In the April 2021 article communicating bad news to your patients, Linda Girgis, MD writes the following:

Giving bad news is not fun, but as a doctor, it is something you'll have to do from time to time. Here are some tips on how to do it.

  1. Be empathetic - Patients need our empathy in all circumstances, not just when they are facing bad outcomes. However, they are in need of a higher dose of it when facing difficult medical circumstances.
  2. Be honest - Some doctors like to minimize the truth. While, it may be easier for them, the patients deserve the full and complete truth, no matter how bad it is. If they are getting worse, tell them.
  3. Let them ask questions - Make sure you answer them. They should be fully apprised of their medical situation. If they don't ask any questions on their own, ask them if they have any.

Click here to read the rest of the article and be sure to check back next week for another Tip of the Week!

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