Giving Patients Bad News


Kidney failure

Heart failure

Premature baby

"Late stage

Nothing we can do

You should start praying"

Nobody wants to hear these words

Patients go to doctors to get thier health back in one way or another

We seek guidance and comfort from health experts

We seek a medical miracle to replace an organ, cut out a tumor, remove a clot, stitch something broken

In most cases it does work out one way or another

But in reality life is not always fair

Medicine does not cure everything

Doctors cannot save everyone

Bad news is the hardest part of medical practice and communicating this to people is by far the hardest test of a doctors character

I know many doctors who are the top of their class, have complete dozen exams but is a complete failure as a human being

That person has not graduated the most important exam in medical school

'Healthcare communication and empathy'

This is the main thing a patient and the family needs at those unfortunate times

We as humans know time is short

But in highly emotional moments we cannot process logic - or respond calmly

In such cases a doctors true skill comes out when they can safely manage the emotional road to understand what happened to the patient - what will happen - & when

But most importantly how to prepare for the next eventual and final event

Modern medical education has failed in teaching these skills before graduation - especially in many Asian countries. That is why most complaints about anti-social and anti-human behaviour occurs towards some doctors.

A lifetime of chasing degrees, writing exams, facing stress, patient abuse and sometimes difficult healthcare policies - can make anyone cold hearted.

It is understandable but should not be tolerated

Doctors need to invest in upgrading their empathic abilities - so as to improve patient communication

A strong sense of humanity is needed to explain to a person such bad news

We cannot heal or overcome this stress if there is no professional helping hand - and nobody is more trustworthy than a honest and compassionate doctor

Under these present days - sometimes its like nobody cares - doctors are corrupt - patients are crazy

But I know there are some really amazing people out there

There are amazing, skilled and caring healthcare providers out there - and i am sure you know them too

Maybe they are family members or someone you know

You should thank them sometimes for their great work,

Giving bad news is a difficult job - but people appreciate it when it is done in the right way

There are courses, there are books out there - I personally enjoyed the guidelines in the USMLE Step 2 CS manuals

After all there is more to life than exams - you should implement that knowledge into the real world while you still can.

I thank you for reading this post

I hope you can share this video to a caring doctor friend to let them know that you appreciate their skills

Dr. Ismail Sayeed


Founder & CEO

ViOS Ltd

This post was made by ViOS

A healthcare platform that connects you to a caring doctor in 3 clicks

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