Why doctors need to improve their communication skills?
Doctors go through years of hard technical training - all of which is necessary. However, that training can put them on a massive disadvantage - which is the curse of knowledge.
What is this curse of knowledge?
You become an expert in an area, however, that expertise makes it very difficult to relate with other people (i.e. beginners).
Unfortunately, for doctors they have to interact with non experts (i.e. patients) all day long. To make matters more challenging, not only the matters are complicated but equally important.
For example, you can fly in a plane without ever worrying how it works. But that’s not the case if you or your loved ones are suffering from a chronic disease.
Hence, doctors need to become good at their communication skills.
Here are top #3 skills that they need to have:
1. Distill complex topics in simple words: Patients have little to no knowledge about medicine. However, they still need to be explained how severe the diseases is, basic understanding how the disease came about to be and what will be done to fix it. Without earning the trust of patients, doctors will come out as prude, arrogant and uncaring towards the patient.
2. Empathy: Doctors need to be sensitive to patients pain and suffering. Sometimes one patient may find little pain insufferable compared to another patient. But, disregarding it will not help the patient. Empathy is what makes the difference between a good doctor and an unpopular one.
3. Conveying bad news: Inevitably at some part in a doctor’s career they will have to give patient a bad news - an incurable disease, amputation, death. This is hard for both doctor and patients. But, doctors have to take the bitter pill and share the news. Being good at giving bad news with empathy and relating to the patient is important skill for any doctor.
Share your thoughts on doctors having good communication skills - and how does it change your perception of the doctor?
Are communication skills an important factor while deciding your doctor?
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