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Why don’t people take medical advice?

Significant proportions of people walk out of doctors’ clinics and disregard or fail to act on the opinion offered.  What practitioners can do to help is to review their communication style. As Bungay Stanier has suggested it can’t be assumed that the first thing the person mentions is what is bothering them the most. Bungay Stanier’s suggested questions will reduce the rush to action. A rush that fails to identify the issue that the patient may feel is a greater priority than hypertension or diabetes.

I summarise the issue in this video:


Picture by Sergio Patino


  1. Linda Beaver says:

    This all relates to the impact of the health literacy capacity of the individual, the way in which a patient is engaged in the consultative process, dare I use the words patient-centred, and the myriad of other things that impact on an individual. I doubt it is with malicious intent that patients don’t comply but I do find it might be perceived relevance, accessibility, additional cost and belief in the worth of the recommendation.

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