Patient Education

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We spend a lot of time educating our patients.  It is necessary to do so because there are so many misunderstandings that are widely held and our advice often contradicts these misunderstandings.  Also, it is part of the transaction of a medical encounter for us to give information to the patient.  This is what they are essentially paying us for: our medical opinion, which is in the form of information as well as a plan of action.  Both of these need to be communicated accurately.  If they are not, then we either get calls back, or we get noncompliant patients.

\"dunce\" In an effort to make our office more efficient, I have taken on the task of writing patient education material.  I am planning on posting this in exam rooms as well as on our web site.  My hope is that it will make the patient more receptive to our decisions as they have a clear idea about where we are coming from.  I find myself saying the same thing over and over again, I hear the nurses saying the same thing over and over again, and I hear the patients asking the same questions over and over again.  Wouldn\’t it be easier to just give better resources?

Now people may ask, why not use resources already out there for patients.  There are certainly good places for information, so why not use them?  There are several reasons for writing my own education material:

  1. I want them to hear my opinion.  I cannot read all of the resources out there on all subjects.  This is probably partly due to the innate distrust I have of others, which is ingrained in us during medical school and residency.  But the truth is, I want to ease the process, and so it will be much easier if it is my own words.
  2. I like to write.  Enough said.  I can add my own style (perhaps…some humor – but no llamas)
  3. I can link to numerous outside resources and can hand-pick the ones I think are good on specific subjects.

So I am starting this as a series on the blog.  I will post various educational pieces for patients.  For medical people out there, I want your opinions on the material and offer you the right to use it yourself.  For non-medical people, I ask you to also give your opinion and perhaps learn something.

For a good example of this, see my MRSA post.

12 thoughts on “Patient Education”

  1. Some topic ideas:
    Dr. Flea, before his attack of bad judgment, published a series on vaccine-preventable diseases:

    * Yellow Alert–why to vaccinate against Hepatitus B (HBV)
    * Dew Drops on Rose Petals–Chicken Pox (Varicella)
    * The Cough of One Hundred Days–Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
    * Risus Sardonicus–Tetanus
    * Strangling Angel–Diptheria
    * Go Home and Die–Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
    * The Can from Hell–Polio (Poliomyelitis)
    * On My Left Shoulder–Smallpox (Variola)

    I wish I’d captured the posts, instead of just linking to them — I wonder if they still exist? They would be worth having.

    More:

    ADHD in the preschool population.

    Early signs of dyslexia, with links to good screening tests.

    Why electronic media exposure (including Baby Einstein) is not in the child’s best interest.

  2. Some topic ideas:
    Dr. Flea, before his attack of bad judgment, published a series on vaccine-preventable diseases:

    * Yellow Alert–why to vaccinate against Hepatitus B (HBV)
    * Dew Drops on Rose Petals–Chicken Pox (Varicella)
    * The Cough of One Hundred Days–Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
    * Risus Sardonicus–Tetanus
    * Strangling Angel–Diptheria
    * Go Home and Die–Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
    * The Can from Hell–Polio (Poliomyelitis)
    * On My Left Shoulder–Smallpox (Variola)

    I wish I’d captured the posts, instead of just linking to them — I wonder if they still exist? They would be worth having.

    More:

    ADHD in the preschool population.

    Early signs of dyslexia, with links to good screening tests.

    Why electronic media exposure (including Baby Einstein) is not in the child’s best interest.

  3. Just so you know, you’re also helping those of us in the trenches of high school education… your earlier series on the physical exam was helpful for my anat & phys sections! Your writing is valuable because it is not only entertaining, but accessible to the layperson who has an interest in this field. Thanks and I look forward to more!

  4. Just so you know, you’re also helping those of us in the trenches of high school education… your earlier series on the physical exam was helpful for my anat & phys sections! Your writing is valuable because it is not only entertaining, but accessible to the layperson who has an interest in this field. Thanks and I look forward to more!

  5. Hello…
    I just want to share my experience at my new assigment now. Twice a week I must delivered a presentation about health related topic (health education) to our crews. But it seem hard to make them understand and encourage them to change their lifestyle more better đŸ™‚

    Thank you for your articles.

  6. Hello…
    I just want to share my experience at my new assigment now. Twice a week I must delivered a presentation about health related topic (health education) to our crews. But it seem hard to make them understand and encourage them to change their lifestyle more better đŸ™‚

    Thank you for your articles.

  7. What an excellent idea Dr Rob and how great that others like the teacher above are finding your previous work helpful as a teaching tool.
    I look forward to this new series. I think for each topic the addition of some online references that you think are reliable could be a good idea for those of us who like to explore farther.

  8. What an excellent idea Dr Rob and how great that others like the teacher above are finding your previous work helpful as a teaching tool.
    I look forward to this new series. I think for each topic the addition of some online references that you think are reliable could be a good idea for those of us who like to explore farther.

  9. I’ll tell you what I get hung up on.
    I have type 2 diabetes. Have had it for 25 years. And in all those years, only one physician, (my current one), has actually treated the condition as anything but “diabetes”.

    I know in my case, I go through various stages. I eat the same, but in the past the medications has differed. It’s as if to some physicians, diabetes is diabetes and there seems to be no acknowledging that the severity of the condition may vary from patient to patient.

    I may be wrong, but I simply believe that there are degrees in the severity of diabetes, and treating all type 2 diabetics alike is missing the point and poor medicine.

  10. I’ll tell you what I get hung up on.
    I have type 2 diabetes. Have had it for 25 years. And in all those years, only one physician, (my current one), has actually treated the condition as anything but “diabetes”.

    I know in my case, I go through various stages. I eat the same, but in the past the medications has differed. It’s as if to some physicians, diabetes is diabetes and there seems to be no acknowledging that the severity of the condition may vary from patient to patient.

    I may be wrong, but I simply believe that there are degrees in the severity of diabetes, and treating all type 2 diabetics alike is missing the point and poor medicine.

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