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When Common Medical Knowledge Is Not So Common
 

When Common Medical Knowledge Is Not So Common

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People would always throw around the lines “Don't you know that? It's common knowledge!" From my experience, common knowledge is not so common after all. What you may know is not known to another.
 
today.mims.com
 
3 Aug 2016 - General
 
Reading the article, I find that some situations may be somewhat funny for us in the allied medical professions, but a lot of patients really have no clue. Knowing how to communicate to match a patient’s level of understanding is quite a valuable and necessary skill if you work in the health care field. I agree with what was mentioned that getting to know the patient’s background first can help clue us in to what terms or language we should use. For example , if the patient finished only seconda...
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Marinelle Castro & Mark Edmon Tan: I guess the fear of offending the patient shouldn't be thee priority. As long as we don't intentionally insult them and remain empathic it should be fine to ask if they have a medical background. We should just remain professional and do our best for our patients by explaining to the...
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Jennifer Winter , it is really hard to gauge when a patient might be offended with a question. For parts of history taking that illicit confidential responses such as sexual history for gynecologic cases, I start off with the question " May I ask you a series of very personal questions? These questions are really important." Medical books teach us the proper sequence of history taking and physical exami...
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Ziwei Xie , I feel your sentiments about patients requesting for antibiotics despite having self-limiting illnesses. There is a certain mentality among patients that a doctor's visit is not complete without a prescription. For this types of cases, I usually prescribe medications that they actually need for supportive treatment such as antipyretics and write down instructions in a prescription pad. I also tell...
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A mentor always shared this story during medical school. He was sent on a medical mission for 8 days somewhere in the Northern Philippines. He had an encounter with an elderly who was diagnosed with bacterial conjunctivitis. The mentor prescribed an ophthalmic antibacterial solution and handed over the prescription paper to his patient while saying " Here, put this in your eye 3x a day for 4 days." The patient sough follow-up after 3 days with complaint of extreme eye pain. The patient...
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Jennifer Winter One of the tactic that I personally use is to ask whether they have a family member who works in the medical field. In that manner, the relative being asked will usually say, none, but I am a doctor/nurse or none at all. So far I have been lucky in the sense that I never encountered a patient or relative who got offended whenever I ask them these things. It is very important to be able to get the ...
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This article is highly related to the previous one which we had https://community.mims.com/general/478/effective-communication-leads-to-effective-delivery-of-healthcare. It did talk about effective communication and as for this article it is also talking about communicating with our patients in the terms they would understand, as what is known or common to us, is not common after all. Like Jennifer, I may have a nursing background but when it came to my daughter's eyes being checked, as red ...
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The patient who insists on getting an antibiotic is difficult. I am very strict with antibiotic prescription. I do my best to explain to them that their illness doesn't warrant this and would tell them about the problems with antibiotic resistance. I believe so far most are satisfied with my explanations though others still have that disappointed look on their faces that I didn't give it to them. When a patient waits in line and walks out of your clinic with the advise of "rest and ...
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Marinelle Castro . I tried that and most of the time it works but sometimes they start telling me not to worry because so far it has always worked and if you are not giving me , I am going to Dr ABC next time instead of coming to you. An Chau I agree with you. For aeons human has suffered common cold but in recent decades they see...
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This article definitely highlights a good point. At times we are constantly surrounded by health professionals that we forget that our "common knowledge" is foreign to others outside the health industry. As a pharmacist, I need to use clear, concise, and simple medical language when counselling patients on medicine usage. In a pharmacy setting, not only is terminology important, but we also tend to only have a small window of opportunity to have patients' attention. With regards to...
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It is not always safer to assume that our patients are not knowledgeable about basic facts because some of them might actually get insulted as you try to simplify "common" medical conditions. One approach that I find useful in my practice is to ask the patient/relative directly if they have affiliation with health-related professions. If none, I usually draw or use CT scans/MRIs to explain the current problem at hand and how to resolve it. One can also use analogies to avoid the use of...
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I find the worst kind of patients are those who insist on antibotics for the mildest form of common cold. I am still getting patient asking me why were they not given antibiotics and how are they going to get better without antibiotics. It is fine if they agree with your explanation but I have seen patient who turned hostile after you insist on not giving them antibiotics. So far, this group of patient is the most vexing. I thought with all the public health education this should be a deeply ent...
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