"Patients want more than simply learning about a problem and how to treat it. Patients want reassurance. While I summarized the proposed surgical treatment, I watched for signs of anxiety or lack of understanding. Ultimately, my patient wanted to have...
"Patients want more than simply learning about a problem and how to treat it. Patients want reassurance. While I summarized the proposed surgical treatment, I watched for signs of anxiety or lack of understanding. Ultimately, my patient wanted to have confidence that I was the right person for the job and that I would do whatever was necessary to make things turn out well.
I believed that delivering the message personally was important. I was both providing knowledge and gaining trust as I described the surgery and its potential risks and benefits. It has been well documented that patients facing surgery may remember only half of what they have been told ahead of time. Given that statistic, even if patients cannot recall many details, I hoped that my patients felt comfortable that their questions had been answered, that surgery was indicated, and that they were in good hands. I was reminded of the aphorism: 'They may not remember what you said, but they remember how you made them feel.'"
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The dichotomy of patient needs and patient wants."
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