But we, too, are affected by life’s challenges — work, family, finances, health, and so on. Perhaps it seemed odd when I challenged them to step away from what really happened and suggested that the solution might be to leave nonfiction essays behind. When patients comes in looking very nice and pretty, would the doctors/nurses start to speculate whether she has had something done to her face or body elsewhere ? A lot of people might learn from it, I replied—doctors, patients, family members. COVID doesn’t matter to them. Ranjana Srivastava. 16 Doctors On The Dumbest Patients They Have Ever Treated Turns out a lot of people don't know how the human body works. Comments are moderated before they are published. It can be verbal, or a hug, or a plate of homemade cookies. Then I urged them to think about power in the doctor-patient relationship, and whether asking for permission to share a story in a personal essay is enough to remedy the moral ambiguity. More . I’m worried about health care reform, too. Suicidal Thoughts: Don't Deal with Them on Your Own. While most doctors really are invested in their patients making the right decisions for their circumstances, many lack the skills to show that they care. Think before you call us. How doctors will use Google Glass. I’m worried about health care reform, too. Doctors know it's important to talk with their patients about end-of-life care. Physician Convergence of Klebsiella Carbapenem Resistance with Virulence, Pegcetacoplan Bests Eculizumab for PNH Patients, Finerenone Cuts Kidney, Heart Risks in CKD and T2D, LOXO-305 Demonstrates Promising Efficacy in CLL. More doctors are doing this now, too. Well, here's another angle that you might consider: while your girlfriend is no doubt beautiful and attractive to you, health care providers (like the rest of us), each have their own ideal of beauty and are likely not attracted to most of their patients. Doctors who publish research reports about particular patients, for example, must remove all demographic information necessary to ensure privacy, and, in some cases, obtain the patient… Still, I was pretty sure that one of her children—if they happened to come across this—would recognize that their mother was the main character in this story. Eventually, I talked her into it. All the time. No more powerful an approach exists to preventing or even reversing heart disease than improving lifestyle, especially nutrition and diet. Studies show most complaints about doctors don’t have anything to do with their medical skills. Selinexor OK'd for Myeloma, But Does That Make It a Good Drug? 4. In some instances, say, in an op-ed, a description may be so brief or generalized that it’s unlikely to be linked to a real person. The Patient Makes Their Health an Issue in Court . Simple words can sometimes make a big impact on physicians, Why patients don’t do what physicians tell them, It’s time to revisit the 4 R’s of the doctor-patient relationship, Reconciling with medicine’s imperfect icons, Knowledge is power: Why science and health literacy matters. Recently, we wrapped up our annual writing workshop. While a majority of patients express interest in discussion of religion and spirituality in medical consultations, there is a mismatch in perception between patients and doctors regarding what constitutes this discussion and therefore whether it has taken place. … Physicians need their rest, too, to be at their best. She said nothing. Here are few things that I, for one, want my patients to know: 1. I found a photo of her and her new spouse, looking happy, and decided against forcing her to revisit that difficult time. “There has been a lot of research over the past few years showing that doctors can productively talk to patients about obesity,” Kahan says. When we hit the mark, say thank you. I’m not lazy or inefficient; I’m just working in a world of unpredictability. Patients don’t need quick diagnoses. 8. Finally, she said that she didn’t really understand why I felt compelled to write this story. "If you want to understand the culture of medicine, you should pay attention to how doctors and other health professionals talk," says Brian Goldman, MD. Search thousands of physician, PA, NP, and CRNA jobs now. Jennifer Stella is a physician who blogs at Primary Care Progress. The four … This article is more than 5 years old. Doctors are fleeing the medical field. If you’ll be late or need to cancel your appointment, let me know! There’s value in real stories, and if doctors are careful and respectful, there are ways to write essays about patients. I hope this provides a glimpse of what the person in the white coat is thinking. Get free updates delivered free to your inbox. When doctors do talk about weight issues, they often seem to assume patients simply aren’t trying to address their weight, and offer “banal” advice. Anecdotes by people claiming to … I told them this: Construct characters with complex lives who may or may not be based on your patients. But what about doctors? Please don’t take out your frustrations on my staff. It's mostly about poor communication. If your question can wait until morning, then please don’t call the doctor in the middle of the night. But if I’m running behind schedule or you haven’t met your deductible, that is not an excuse to be rude. This article originally appeared in the HealthZette. June 3, 2013 Kevin 33 … 4 reasons why patients should blog. If a person is evaluated by the primary health-care professional, he or she may be instructed to go immediately to the emergency department for further evaluation. And challenging, too. Persist, and you will likely be told that you will be happier seeking care from another practice. They come to the workshop bursting with those stories. A 2018 survey regarding time primary care physicians spend with their patients revealed some patients had less than nine minutes with their doctors, while others had between 17-24 minutes. What are your health goals for the coming year? Terms of Use | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | DMCA Policy | All Content © KevinMD, LLC, ✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers ✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories. While a majority of patients express interest in discussion of religion and spirituality in medical consultations, there is a mismatch in perception between patients and doctors regarding what constitutes this discussion and therefore whether it has taken place. Be polite to my staff. The practice of medicine is unique and wonderful. 5. Here’s why they should Here are few things that I, for one, want my patients to know: 1. It’s when a piece starts to shine as potentially publishable that things get tricky. What about how they’re doing? And yet I also felt anxious. With my piece about the elderly woman already accepted, and thanks to a backlog at the publication, I had time to ponder. But my appointment slots are my practice’s lifeblood — and missed appointments mean lost revenue and other patients having to wait longer for their appointments. Someday you might be the emergency patient that puts my schedule behind — but you will be happy for that same day appointment and extra time with me. I can’t always run on time. 6. This was her story, too. Doctors don't mind if you do a little bit of research on your own, but don't come in with guns blazing, trying to teach them something about their profession. Toss them into charged situations and see what happens. She hesitated, then said that my patient would have done anything I asked him to, so she supposed it would be okay. Sometimes, patients don’t know their true underlying problem or what to reveal to the doctor. Delivering health care at a retail clinic isn’t something to be proud of. I waited. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and when it’s acknowledged, we will go out of our way to meet and exceed your expectations. How Do Doctors Address Suicidal Thoughts? Brian C. Joondeph is an ophthalmologist and can be reached on Twitter @retinaldoctor. | April 4, 2017, As the repeal of Obamacare is debated in the halls of Congress and on cable TV, one common theme is: “What will happen to patients?” Questions loom about what might change with coverage, about cost, about whether you’ll still be able to keep your doctor, and if medications will still be covered. Physician burnout during COVID: Bringing ancient practices to modern medicine, The blunt truth on why stopping COVID is impossible, The failure of COVID-19 vaccine distribution confirms government incompetence, Another stab in the back for primary care during pandemic, Correctional facilities are not prioritized for COVID vaccines. One middle-of-the-night call that disturbs a good night’s sleep makes the next day more challenging. And yet, all these years and many personal essays later, there remains a niggling sense that maybe I shouldn’t be exposing the inner lives of my patients, that even with a patient’s okay, even after a careful resection of sensitive elements, I may have taken advantage of a confidence. More troubling, perhaps, is my presumption that I’m safe from offending or angering a patient because many of the people I write about are long dead or unlikely to come across my essays. Patients rightly assume that their conversations with healthcare providers are confidential, and while there’s an implied consent that relevant information may be noted in the medical record, no one expects a rendition of a seemingly privileged conversation to appear in a magazine or newspaper article. Let's face it.All humans are flawed. 3. One might think that doctors cringe when patients pull out “the list” of their concerns and questions. And while it’s easy to avoid including the 18 HIPAA identifiers—name, age, address, social-security number, and so on—the descriptions doctors and other healthcare professionals provide about patients in personal essays are about as private as it gets: a conversation with a man just diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, an admission of an extramarital affair, a patient who asks for help in dying. Residents, new doctors in their most intense years of training, are immersed in stories—stories of the hospital and illness, of tragedies and cures. And while doctors focus on physical health, some of the most common health problems that patients face are mental health issues. Their preparedness. Doctors may be distracted by millions of other things as they try to listen to patients. What do doctors say to 'alternative therapists' when a patient dies? Patients demean their medical caretakers but are mum in their presence because, among … There are things doctors want to tell their patients, not only about health care reform — but also about their health and more. “Doctor-patient conversations lead to many positive obesity-related behavior changes. Share . But they're finding it tough to start those conversations. My staff and I work hard. This is how we make medical decisions in our family (examples: I make the decision myself, my entire family has to agree on major … Think again. Now, I could omit details that made it more likely someone might recognize her. We have our good days and bad days just like anyone else. There are things doctors want to tell their patients, not only about health care reform — but also about their health and more. The assessment of people with suicidal thoughts is far from an exact science. I was proud of the piece and prouder yet when I learned that it would be published. Wanted to know if it is actually common practice for doctors/nurses to gossip/discuss about their patients. She was no longer at that phone number, so I searched Facebook. But I have challenges, too. You show up five minutes early for your doctor's appointment and wind up waiting 20 in the lobby … We are making sacrifices for you. Don’t be too quick to judge and criticize! Physicians let patients speak an average 18 seconds before interrupting them, research has found. Until it matters. It’s for your own good. When she answered the phone, I summarized my essay. This relationship is formed when a doctor attends to a patient's medical needs and is usually through consent. Founded in 2004 by Kevin Pho, MD, KevinMD.com is the web’s leading platform where physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, medical students, and patients share their insight and tell their stories. Doctors know it’s important to talk with their patients about end-of-life care. Rules, regulations, and more hoops to jump through all distract me from my job of taking care of your medical problems. This report takes its place alongside a growing body of literature about how patients like their doctors to dress, what tone of voice doctors should employ, and … She was glad to hear from me, but a bit baffled. We try to always have a smile on our faces, be upbeat and cheerful. After her death, I spent months cobbling our encounter into a narrative, rich with detail about how her illness had come to define her life, what she looked like, how she sounded. If an employee acts inappropriately, tell me. We talk about how to craft their anecdotes into compelling narratives, to harness emotions into images, to describe a person vividly through detail and metaphor. 7. Why would I want to write about his suffering, and hers? Think again. Doctors told Daily Mail Online about some of the secret codes they use to describe patients to one another. The privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits doctors and other medical professionals from publicly disclosing health-related identifiable information about patients, their household members, and their relatives. I’m a small-business person — and when I’m forced to do more while getting paid less, at some point, I can’t stay in business. In my own practice, I might be operating or seeing a bunch of patients the next day. Two years later, I read it again and decided to contact the ex-wife one more time. A number of years ago, I wrote an essay about an elderly woman, a patient of mine. So I nixed a few touches that weren’t vital to the piece. And yet I wasn’t convinced, so I put the story away. Similarly, if a doctor thinks their patient's mental state will cause them to be a danger to themselves or others, they may report this in order to prevent harm to others. I decided to write a letter to my former patient’s daughter to tell her that I’d call the following week about something I had written. Regarding: "Do Doctors and Nurses Gossip About Their Patients? I understand your life is busy and complicated. Here’s why. This unique relationship is built on trust, respect, communication, and a common understanding of both the doctor and patients' sides. Any of us may be on call a week at a time. This does not mean, of course, that you shouldn’t call if you have a legitimate emergency no matter what time of time or night. After all, their admission to medical school was not based on a validated assessment of their ability to relate to other human beings. As always, most of the residents are budding personal essayists and many wrote true-life narratives about their patients. A friend asked me if doctors think about their patients when they’re gone. Please make a sacrifice for us. Think we evolved to eat meat? The challenge for physicians is finding an effective way to talk about nutrition with their patients, because the usual admonitions to eat better and exercise often do … But most journals offer no guidance. Saying “thank you” goes a long way. You’ve probably heard these things before in your life, but that doesn’t mean your doctor will just give up on trying to change any of your unhealthy habits. | Doctors who publish research reports about particular patients, for example, must remove all demographic information necessary to ensure privacy, and, in some cases, obtain the patient’s signed permission. Emergencies, challenging patients, new problems — these are always part of my day, and I might get behind. Next post > Think we evolved to eat meat? The ethics of rationing care during COVID, Vaccine Line Chaos; U.K. Strain Already Here? Knowing how to talk to patients is the primary skill you'll need to hone when dealing with this part of your practice. Recognize the Trump that lies within each of us and try to heal him, Maximizing COVID-19 vaccine equity and minimizing death in South Carolina and beyond. Nothing. A doctor-patient relationship is a complex relationship between a doctor and a patient. Some older individuals may be too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about a drinking problem, or they may think that they do not need to be concerned about drinking because of their age. You really need to … [fill in the blank]. For instance, most Americans who have a primary care physician (74%) say their doctor typically discusses their physical health, but far fewer talk about behavioral factors that can strongly influence health, such as exercise (51%), diet (44%) and sleep (40%). Will be mindful of the doctor's limited time. Telling you that you need to lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, or some other bad habit doesn’t mean I’m fat-shaming you or that I am insensitive, sexist, racist, or any other epithet. I appreciate the challenges for patients under Obamacare — high premiums, deductibles, and copayments; narrow networks limiting the choice of physician. Meaning and intent can … The benefits—and ethical pitfalls—of telling true stories as a physician. They’re doing the best they can in a stressful environment. This is how we prefer to handle bad news in my family (examples: we talk openly, we shield the children, we do not like to talk about it). On the contrary: this adds great efficiency and still helps us to be complete in what we do. Brian C. Joondeph, MD Doctors say to the nurses what they would LIKE to say to the patients, but can’t. Here are 10 things that physicians love about their patients: 10. Most practices have a designated physician on call, including at night. A Patient Who Is a Good Communicator . And it’s part of my job. About five years ago, I dusted off an unpublished piece about another patient of mine, a man who had since died, and called his only relative, his ex-wife. 2) Doctors need help in subsidizing their education so they are not strangled by loan costs they have to pay back over years, or pass onto their patients in billing. We want the best results for our patients. How to Talk to Patients. Many restaurants ask for a credit card, which will be charged if you’re a no-show; same goes for flights and hotel reservations. The Next Phase of Vaccination Will Be Even Harder, The Most Reliable Pandemic Number Keeps Getting Worse. 2. Doctors don’t talk to their patients about sexual health. I told them that I shared the impulse to capture these stories in bracing, telling words. 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