Communicating When There Is a Wide Range of Worry (HLOL #185)

Emilie Johnson, MD, MPH, is a pediatric urologist and health services researcher in Chicago, IL. She cares for pediatric urology patients (and their families) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, and is an Assistant Professor of Urology at Northwestern University. In her practice, Dr. Johnson address the medical and surgical needs of children with a wide range of conditions involving the urinary and genital systems.

In this podcast, Dr. Johnson and Helen Osborne discuss:

  • Communication challenges when a specialist first meets with patients and families about conditions that may or may not be medically concerning.
  • Ways to set a tone of empathy, caring, and respect. One example is inviting patients to share their worries and fears at the beginning of appointments. And only after these are aired, then discussing treatment options and plans.
  • Tools and strategies to increase mutual understanding. These not only include the spoken word but also visuals, diagrams, and primers on terminology.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 8, 17, 24, 41.

Read the transcript of this podcast.

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