A Good Physician — On Complacency and Communication

Author: Michelle M. Kittleson, M.D., Ph.D.
Submitted by: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

“I recently cared for a 45-year-old man for over a month and never spoke to him.” This moving reflection from Dr. Kittleson details her realization about the lack of communication with her patient awaiting a heart transplant who is also deaf. “I fell into a complacency born of pragmatism and confidence in my abilities: I knew I was providing the best medical care, so I ignored the importance of direct communication.” This personal story highlights the need for direct doctor-patient communication no matter what perceived barriers exist – a concept for which SP educators continue to advocate.

Read the full article in The New England Journal of Medicine here.

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