May 21, 2015 – Concern List

May 15, 2015

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Anchor lead:  Patients can help physicians deliver the best care by clearly identifying what they want, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Surprise!  Your physician may just as unhappy about discussing bad news with you as you are upset by hearing it.  But Tony Back, an expert in physician-patient communication, who recently gave a seminar on the subject at Johns Hopkins, says patients can improve the process.

Back: I tell my patients to bring in lists.  It’s this sense of collecting yourself so when you get to the conversation, especially when the time is going to be limited, that you can be clear about what’s in your own mind. Communication tools like that are terrific things that help clinicians have the conversation that really counts.  :19

Back says you must remember that as the patient,  your own preferences are paramount.

Back: My one take home for patients is its okay to tell the clinician what you need.  Don’t hesitate to say, hey, this is the thing that’s really on my mind, and in fact it will help your doctors and nurses take care of you.  :14

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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