For Those Studying Medicine…(6)

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Good communication skills increase rapport with the patient

“What’s happened to the enlarged spleen in Bed 10?”

How often have you heard a doctor say this to medical staff?  Engrossed in the technicalities and the medical paraphernalia of the disease and its cure, many doctors tend to forget that behind the medical problem is a live human being, with emotions and real feelings. Unconsciously, they have depersonalised the patient and treated them just as an object.

One of the qualities of a good doctor is that they do not forget that they are always communicating to another fellow human being with emotions and feelings. And this includes good bedside manners like greeting the patient on approaching the hospital bed..each time and every time!

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2 responses

  1. You’re right,doc. As a patient, I have felt, as you say, depersonalised, when I am being treated as an object. This seems to be the case in a teaching hospital, where countless hands begin probing my tummy and ending with not a sinple word of thanks. 😦

  2. Dear Doc,

    This is a very nice point.
    It’s a very delicate thin line, at times , they need to dissociate themselves from being emotionally involved in a situation in order to do a good job in terms of judgement , at time they need to return to that feeling of being human again.
    Maybe a drama class in curricula would be helpful … 😉

    -woody

    Doctor2008 replies: Your point is valid, which is why senior doctors will make the point that doctors need to be objective at all times and be able to differentiate between empathy (good to have ) and sympathy, when they can become emotionally involved to tne extent that it may affect their judgement.

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