Monday, August 17, 2009

Almost everyone has stories about health communication going wrong. But it also can go right. One of my positive stories is about how a doctor explained about the risks and benefits of a new medication. I had to make a choice about whether to take a new drug or nothing at all following a bad bout of side effects from another medication.

My doctor began with lots about complicated statistics (she knows I'm savvy about healthcare) but I really wasn't "getting it." It was only when she held one hand high while saying, "This is how much the new medicine can benefit you." And then gesturing low with the other hand saying, "And this is how much risk you'll have by taking it." Her simple gestures helped me decide what to do.

What goes right in YOUR healthcare conversations?