compassionate honesty …

… Loprinzi and colleagues review a series of articles from the Journal of Clinical Oncology which addresses how to have difficult conversations (giving bad news, making life decisions).

A recurrent theme highlights the importance of the physician working through his/her own needs and issues … eg “The article presents data from behavioral research that documents the stress experienced by those who tell the truth about poor prognostic information. The authors conclude that it is often easier for the physicians to lie to patients than to tell them the truth.”  … another article “… discusses the angst experienced by doctors when giving bad news to patients …”

A key question we ask often throughout the day is … “Whose need is it?”

It may be as important to go on retreat as to go to a communication skills workshop.