Quote of the Day, to an 84 year-old Asian woman with Hepatitis C from an attending:
Doc: So we’d like to figure out what the subtype of your viral genotype is…
This woman had no, I mean no idea what a genotype is, let alone a subtype of it. Please don’t forget, when you’re talking to a patient, speak to his or her level, not MEDICAL. I would look just as dumbfounded as my patient today, and probably nod as well if a lawyer spoke law to me, or if a mechanic spoke car to me. I’m sure I’m at fault myself sometimes, but I think I’m pretty good at catching myself, and pretty good at detecting the dumbfounded “what the hell are you talking about” look, too.
There’s evidence to suggest that patients will be more adherent if you speak their language, too. Everyone wins.