This has always been part of the case, but now finally getting some recognition, as who wants to go to a physician who will not listen to you.  In addition, the tone of how a person addresses another is also old hat, but sometimes forgotten.  We all pretty much know when we get the "blast of cold air" response of telling us what to do with an angry or arrogant tone, we have a tendency to not want to ask questions either as an effort to not receive another "blast of old air".  This really is good advice for anyone, anywhere..and even as a patient, be aware of how you address your physician too, the door swings both ways.  BD

In 2005, Fine started Bedside Advocates, a Massachusetts organization that enlists volunteers to act as patient "guides" through the confusing terrain of the health care system. Fine's job is often to "translate" information from doctors, even for those patients who are fluent in English.

"Patients will turn to someone like me and say, 'What did the doctor just say?' " he says. "They're afraid to ask questions, and if they do ask questions, they don't understand the answers."  Patients, Meaney says, are often left feeling confused, frustrated and unsure of who's in charge of their care.

Hospitals often employ teams of specialists, which can present a daunting communication challenge, according to Mark Meaney, president and chief executive of the National Institute for Patient Rights and author of 3 Secrets Hospitals Don't Want You to Know: How to Empower Patients.

Specialized care means that a patient must communicate with a different doctor for each body part that is affected by their illness, such as the heart or the liver. Often, Meaney says, specialists focus too closely on the area of the body in which they specialize and fail to diagnose the "whole" patient.

Communication now part of the cure -


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