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Healthcare will do better when Joe accepts that he is in trouble

There is nothing especially remarkable about Joe. At 49 he works as an administrator for a company in the city. He walks to work from the station having taken a train from the suburbs. He weighs 78Kgs and is 170cm tall (BMI 27). To stay that way he … [Read more]

Deploy rituals and be present in practice

Your next patient or client will want you to: Smile (23.2%); Be friendly, personable, polite, respectful (19.2%); Be attentive and calm, make the patient feel like a priority (16.4%); and make eye contact (13.0%). (An Evidence-Based … [Read more]

She’s furious but what does your reaction say about you?

Where there is anger there is fear. Health issues are frightening. They pose a real and sometimes imminent threat to our basic needs. Sometimes even a threat to life itself. There is a strong relationship between anger and fear. Anger is the fight … [Read more]

Can the patient relay what was done for them?

A perennial source of dissatisfaction in healthcare (as documented here and here) is the poor flow of information from one sector to another. 'Joe' (speaking here- video from BMJ open) couldn't tell me, his doctor, anything helpful about what had … [Read more]

Doctors need better tools to help people recognise danger

Doctors see it all the time. The fifty-year-old with a BMI of 28, the teenager who is developing a taste for cigarettes, the twenty-year-old who now binge drinks every weekend, the soon-to-be-mum who is 'eating for two'. Small choices that may become … [Read more]

A small act that never goes unnoticed

Much can be said about the way we greet people. However nothing is more telling than the memory of the last time we were greeted when we were in need. Those who have travelled overseas know exactly what it's like to be in an alien environment, where … [Read more]

Are we are obstructing the doctor with gadgets?

Despite billions of dollars of investment in technology the results in healthcare are disappointing. Information Technology (IT) surrounds us every day. IT products and services from smart phones and search engines to online banking and stock … [Read more]

Doctors get to choose so much of what matters

You choose what you wear. They own the building, they chose the furniture, they employed the staff, they chose the wallpaper, they decided the policies, they set the opening hours. But whoever 'they' are there are only two people in the consultation. … [Read more]

Much of what’s wrong with healthcare is in the consulting room

It's not that complicated. Not really. So where do you look for pathology? Inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation. How does it look, how does it feel, how does it sound and what do you hear when you know where to listen closely. I'm … [Read more]

We don’t have to agree but it doesn’t have to end in tears

I told him NO. You don't need antibiotics you have a virus. Now leave. This is the rather macho way in which the story of how a patient's 'unreasonable' request was rejected is sometimes recounted. In some cases the law was changed to allow people … [Read more]