Patients Unlike Others You’ve Treated Before (HLOL #120)

Becky-1546-5x7_ppBecky Curran was born an achondroplastic dwarf. She is passionate about finding a way to change how people with physical differences, including little people, are perceived in the media. Becky is committed to helping everyone accept the differences in others.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Becky Curran about:

  • Why health communication can be difficult when providers treat patients with rare disease and conditions.
  • A patient’s perspective about ways providers can build trust and communicate effectively with everyone.
  • How to portray the diversity of your audience in print and web materials.

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: 24, 32, 41.

To read a written transcript, go to


  1. It is amazing how tunnel visioned most physicians are; almost like the rest of humanity. 😉
    Every patient with a diagnosed condition should take the responsibility and expect the burden of guiding the HCPs you encounter. 90% of all PCPs are only used to caring for patients in the 90th percentile. Ensure they know that you will not presume them to be expert (even if they are) in the often complex constellation of issues around your diagnosis(es). A good overburdened PCP will take the trouble to refer you to a more appropriate PCP. An excellent PCP will bone up on your issues as a means of improving his/her profession. Remember that this will be true for many common diagnoses, not to mention rare ones.

  2. I think the advice to remember that your own doctor may not be an expert, and your mutual goal will be to determine where the gaps of knowledge are. Whereas the excellent doctor will try to learn more about the condition, he will also ask the patient for what information he or she has, perhaps even ask for good resources, which the patient may also have. This will give the doctor a measure of the level of information which the patient has, and acts as a basis for their ongoing relationship. And the doctor and patient may find themselves working as partners in this diagnosis and treatment.

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