Difficult and ambiguous conversations are unavoidable in the practice of medicine. Looking at the most ambiguous and categorically difficult conversations helps illuminate why good communication skills are essential in all of them. Writing in BMJ Open, Le et al. give a glimpse into best practices that can be applied to any patient.
Thursday Review: “Medical Humanities: Some Uses and Problems”
It’s been said that according to TV, there are only two interesting professions: law enforcement and medicine. Police dramas, mysteries, procedurals, and courtroom shows are nearly limitless. On the other hand, medical shows ranging from melodrama to comedy to documentary are easy to come by. The commercial success and wide range of even fictional stories […]
Story-in-Place, April 11, 2020
Story-in-Place is a workshop to give healthcare providers a forum tell their stories during the COVID-19 crisis. The session will be online on April 11, 2020 at 2pm Pacific. Registration is free. We’re living through a crisis and a profound shared experience. Healthcare providers and related fields are on the front lines. One of the […]
Thursday Review: “Soliciting the Patient’s Agenda: Have We Improved?”
What would a consultation look like if a patient were able to voice all of their concerns? Asked in a different way, how can we quantitatively demonstrate the benefits of a consultation where a patient is allowed to simply speak freely? Writing in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. M. Kim Marvel et […]
Thursday Review: “Teaching communication skills to clinical students”
In a section of the BMJ under the header How To Do It, Ian Christopher McManus, Charles A. Vincent, S. Thom, and Jane Kidd offer practical advice from their experiences teaching communications to students at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School. I’m certainly not running a medical school, but there are still some interesting, practical ideas […]
Thursday Review: “What Is Value in Health Care?”
I read Dr. Michael E. Porter’s article in The New England Journal of Medicine a number of years ago. At the time, I was interested in concrete ways to talk about value and effectiveness in healthcare. Rereading it now, it strikes me that Porter provides a framework not only for those ideas, but also a […]
Are we sure about the “Humanities” in “Medical Humanities”?
In an article published late last year on the Washington Post’s website, Cathy N. Davidson reported on several studies run by Google’s HR department. The findings were striking: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (“STEM”) ability wasn’t the most important quality in their top employees. It wasn’t even in the top five.