Tag: miscommunication

Anna Morrow Anna Morrow (1 Posts)

Guest Writer

Purdue University

Anna studied nursing at Purdue University. Anna enjoys finding and tasting new spots to eat and spending time with her dog, Charlie. Anna works for Capson Physicians Insurance.

A Case for Inclusive Language

“And do you have a husband at home?” “A wife, actually.” “Oh, excuse me. And how long have you been with your mate?” the physician answered. He was unflustered and looked expectantly at the female standardized patient sitting across from him. For the remainder of the interview, when it came up again briefly, the physician referred to the patient’s wife as her mate.

Lost in Translation

In the rest of the house, the noise of the party is deafening: the clink of glasses, the sizzle of burgers on the grill, the excited cries of relatives reunited after long absences. But in the bright light of the kitchen, Mark is talking to me without sound. He presses his right hand over his left then moves up its length, separating his thumb from the rest of his fingers as he goes replicating the open and shut motions of a jaw. “This is the sign for cancer,” he says.

Clinical Culture Shock: Low Health Literacy as a Barrier to Effective Communication

On a Saturday morning at one of our local safety net clinics, where third-year medical students see patients independently and then present to the supervising attending, a man in his 60s arrived to talk about some lab results he had received and what they meant. This man, Mr. S, had many medical problems, including hypertension, COPD, chronic kidney disease and newly diagnosed diabetes. He came to the office that day wanting to know why he had …

A Patient in Denial: Is the System at Fault?

I’ve come to realize having an automatic word filter is one of my greatest blessings. It becomes quite useful when, in the middle of rounds, a patient’s single, monosyllabic response inspires such a flurry of mismatched curse words that only a properly formed filter can save my dignity. What exactly did this patient say that stunned me so violently? My attending had asked him a straightforward, albeit grim, question. “Do you know you have cancer?” …

Communication Breakdown: The Art in Medicine

I walk around, wide-eyed yet confused. It seems so different. I always thought I was too objective for my art friends and too subjective for my science friends. But was that really an accurate reflection of my own personality? Medicine is about reductionism, objectivity and straightforwardness. In medical school, I’m learning a method of communication in which empathy is taught as a route to finding out more about a patient; it’s conveniently called the patient-centered …

I Don’t Know How to Tell You This…

“My rheumatologist was the one who told me I have cancer because for nine months we thought my back pain was due to a type of arthritis. He felt really bad about it and when he called me to tell me the diagnosis, he started crying on the phone.” A student in my second-year medical school class says this when we are in the big lecture hall for a class presentation on how to give …

Patient Autonomy: A Medical Student’s Experience as a Patient

Ms. Romero is an otherwise healthy medical student who was transferred to the MICU with acute liver failure; isoniazid toxicity. Crystal had a positive PPD screening, negative chest x-ray and started therapy for potential LTBI. After seven weeks the patient felt fatigued, anorexic, jaundiced, RUQ abdominal pain, and was found to have elevated LFT’s & INR. She was originally admitted to INOVA for observation, but was transferred to Medstar Georgetown University Hospital MICU and worked …

The Journey Down the Medical Rabbit Hole

Pursuing a career in health care has created opportunities I could have never imagined possible, welcomed or not. The bond a physician has with his patient is not something that can be recreated in any other field. Prior to medical school, I knew I would be exposed to situations and learn the intricate privacies that most people do not have the blessing to learn. But of course I could have never predicted how deep the …

Poor Communication in Multidisciplinary Teams Harms Patient Safety: An Experience on the Wards

Location: Surgery inpatient floor Time: 6:00 a.m. Surgery morning rounds began: “Ms. A, your MRI shows you have colorectal cancer, so we plan to take you to the OR for surgery tomorrow. Alright, see you later,” said my surgery attending, who rushed out of Ms. A’s room right after he abruptly dropped this shocking news. Inside the room, Ms. A, a fragile, bony 75-year-old lady, was laying on her bed with her eyes full of …

Trust: Half the Battle in Effective Health Care Delivery

It was a sunny and cloudless September day, the weather still warm enough for T-shirts and shorts. Sitting by a round table decorated with poster board and flyers, I was providing mental health awareness and education at a health fair. The site was sandwiched between the bustling highways south of downtown Chicago and the Chicago River — the outskirts of Chinatown. All around me crowded small storefronts and narrow roads, a sharp contrast to the …

Qing Meng Zhang Qing Meng Zhang (9 Posts)

Reporter and in-Training Staff Member

Rush Medical College

Meng Zhang is a medical student at Rush Medical College, Class of 2017, in Chicago. Meng obtained her bachelor degree in Biological Science in 2010 from University of California - San Diego. Her professional interests are writing, underserved communities, and holistic medicine.

When she's not being a 5/8th of a doctor and writing patient notes "for educational purpose only", she likes to sleep until sunrise, eat a healthy meal, and enjoy every bit of sunshine Chicago offers. Reading, watching TV shows/movies, froyo-ing, and shopping are always welcomed when possible.