Communication is the real essence of medicine. You need to be able to listen to the patient, ask the right questions and then explain your thoughts, the process and how you plan to get to the diagnosis. Once you get to the diagnosis you need the ability to explain the condition and the risk benefit of any treatment or procedure. It is usually the communication that fails
which leads to rare disease patients being missed for many years. As doctors we are keen to talk and interrupt the patient story and frequently forget to listen or even ask the patient what they think. Many rare disease patients have had classical symptoms for years but it is the failure to listen that contributes to delay in diagnosis. The attitude of it is to rare to think
about or I know best. I found it very useful and would suggest that all parents, patients and doctors read the book by Lisa Saunders called “Every patient tells a story- medical mysteries and the art of diagnosis”. Lisa is better known for writing the series House but her book is insightful and full of great tips on communication and being an empathetic doctor.

The crucial part of this interview is around 5 minutes where she talks about the expert patient and rare disease journeys will be shorter if doctors would allow patients more time and listen more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s