In medical education, communication is given far less attention, in comparison to diagnostics or treatment. Proper communication is of paramount importance, and weak communication is at the roots of most complaints or accusations of professional misbehavior. Communication should always be bidirectional. When dealing with relatively simple and transient medical problems, communication is often limited to technical instructions. With chronic diseases, communication includes much deeper insight into patient’s personality, family, and social background, and should be understood as a process, rather than as a single encounter. Honest information about the results of diagnostic procedures and understandable presentation of the proposed treatment are essential. In contrast, the prognosis of a disease often remains uncertain and should be communicated with caution: statistical data have limited validity for an individual, and unexpected favorable or unfavorable course of a disease is not rare. In dealing with a serious disease, an experienced and compassionate physician understands that positive motivation of a patient and of his/her family or supporting team is of crucial importance.
KeywordsInformation Compassion Motivation Media and the internet Medical jargon Cultural diversity
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