“I’m not sure you got what I said.”

Doctors sometimes worry that what they tell a patient goes in one ear and out the other. Unfortunately, that’s often the case. On average, studies suggest, patients grasp only about half of what doctors tell them.

Yet the fault sometimes lies not with the patient’s inattention, but the doctor’s poor communication skills.

Physicians tend to deliver information in long, dense mini-lectures. They’ll say things like, “Let me explain to you the function of the pancreas,” when what the patient wants to know is what a diagnosis of diabetes means in practical terms.

To avoid misunderstanding, doctors could initiate a back-and-forth discussion with their patients. But not all do.

“Doctors are not good about assessing the patient’s understanding of our explanations,” says Dean Schillinger, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. “We’re infamous for saying, ‘Are you clear about what I’ve told you?’ What we should be doing is asking patients to restate what we’ve told them.”

What to do: At the end of your appointment, if your doctor doesn’t ask you to recap what they’ve told you, do so anyway, Schillinger suggests. Simply tell the doctor you want to make sure you understand, and then use your own words to relate what you think you were told.

Source: Excerpt from WebMD article>>>I Am Not Sure You Got What I Said

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