An Arm and a Leg: An Actor Walks into a Doctor’s Office

Host: Dan Weissmann
Submitted by: Marsha Harman, Rush University

Researcher Saul Weiner has been sending fake patients — actors, wired for sound — into real doctors’ offices, to learn about what actually happens, especially: How well doctors really listen to their patients.  He’s tallied up what doctors miss (a lot), and how much it costs (ditto).  In today’s episode, we hear what actually happened in one of those “secret shopper” doctor visits — with the doctor and the actor who played his patient reading from the transcript of their visit, and then unpacking what went wrong.

Dr. Weiner’s work centers around the concept of contextualizing care – taking a patient’s life circumstances into account when diagnosing and creating a treatment plan. The podcast episode explores how physicians can miss major pieces of information which, if discovered, would fundamentally change the course of the patient’s care.

Listen to the full episode here.

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