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.

Best Case/Worst Case: A Strategy to Manage Uncertainty in Shared Decision-Making (HLOL #164)

Gretchen Schwarze MD, MPP, is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Schwarze is a practicing vascular surgeon and health services researcher who also directs the clinical ethics curriculum for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.  Her research interests are in patient-doctor decision making for high-risk operations and end-of-life care for surgical patients.

In this podcast, Dr. Schwarze talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Best Case/Worst Case. A decision-making strategy that uses narrative, a graphic aid, and simplicity to communicate with families about complex treatment options.
  • Examples, stories, and research about using Best Case/Worst Case in practice.
  • Ways that patients and non-physicians can build on these lessons learned.

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, 12, 13, 19, 26, 32, 38, 41

Read a transcript of this podcast.

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