Posts Tagged ‘People’s Pharmacy’

Joe and Terry Graedon interviewed me about my book Compartments on the People’s Pharmacy: Compartments and Communication.

Our interview was about how misperceptions can lead to communication difficulties that interfere with good health care. When people are operating within their own area of expertise, they may find it hard to understand what the big picture looks like from another person’s perspective. Whether the differences lie between doctor and patient or between different health care providers, the results can be unfair judgments and missed opportunities.

This  attitude can affect the way doctors interpret the results of placebo-controlled trials and how they feel about home remedies. We also discussed the pros and cons of e-mail communication between doctors and patients, and how to choose a good doctor.

Listen here and let me know what you think.

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My interview with the People’s Pharmacy radio program was broadcast on October 10. Visit (http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2009/10/10/743-saving-your-skin/)

I thought the program, which was focused mostly on dermatology, went well. I was also able to speak on some other issues about which I have a lot of passion — in particular, patient satisfaction.

Unfortunately, I did not communicate one of my points very clearly, and a physician who had been listening to the show felt that I had insulted family physicians and posted a comment on the People’s Pharmacy Web site. Because I have enormous respect for family physicians and other primary care doctors, I felt terrible about the misunderstanding. But I greatly appreciate that the doctor wrote to me and to the show to let me know his feelings. It gave me an opportunity to respond to him and others, clarifying what I meant. More importantly, the feedback made me realize that in future radio programs I need to be more clear and explicit in letting listeners know exactly what I mean.

Ironically, this is the same kind of communication problem that doctors and patients —and everyone else — face day in and day out. At least in medicine we have one solution: give patients clear, written directions describing the diagnosis and treatment plan. But doctors, like everyone else, often don’t hear themselves and think they have communicated clearly when they have not. That is why it is so important for patients to help doctors by giving them the feedback about their communication style. I’ve said it many times: Feedback helps doctors do what they want to do most, which is to give their patients great medical care.

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