Friday, October 23, 2015

Doctor Speak

   
  Did you ever have trouble understanding what your doctor was telling you?  It gets worse than that.

    I just finished reading "the Secret Language of Doctors" cracking the code of hospital slang.

    Dr. Brian Goldman tells all in his book about how doctors talk to each other about patients. Doctor Goldman is critical of the medical profession and claims that patients suffer from doctor slang.

    One chapter is called Status Dramaticus. This term is used to label those people who come to emergencies and are over the moon with their symptoms which may be a good part imaginary. Doctors have to decipher what's real and deal with it.

     People are labeled as cockroaches, frequent fliers and gomers. None of these terms can be helpful for patient care. Usually slang is used behind the doors of the doctor's lounge but there are times it's used in the presence of the patient.

    Another chapter is called Harpooning the whale and it deals with obese patients. Doctors don't like treating obese patients as they are very difficult to handle. He gives all kinds of examples of the difficulties obese patients present.

    Along the way there is good humor but Goldman makes it clear that slang used is definitely detrimental to patient care. Doctors have tried to find methods to curb use of slang but it's a major challenge

    Another chapter is called blocking and turfing. Sometimes a doctor doesn't want to treat a patient so finds another unsuspecting Doc to take the patient. This is turfing. Other times they are very skillful at blocking moves other doctors are trying to make. All of this has a detriment to the patient.

   Doctors have a challenge with empathy and remaining focused on the patient's symptoms and thinking of treatment. Sometimes the empathy is completely forgotten when it should be number one.

     I enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend that you read it. 

     I also like Brian Goldman's radio program White Coat, Black Art.


31 comments:

  1. sounds like a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff i'd probably not want to know about. naivete is sometimes okay with me. :)

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    1. I expect a little higher standard when it comes to my health.

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  2. Folk should also look after themselves. What is the point of doctors spending time on people who smoke, drink and overeat. The only way they can survive is by resorting to a bit of black humour.

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    1. You have a point but I still think we have to look after people. As a society we cannot throw people away.

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  3. I was going to say something similar. My experience with doctors is that they don't see people, they see symptoms and think "drugs" and I'm not sure I want to know how they pigeonhole me behind my back! Interesting a doctor has tattled on his colleagues.

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    1. I can understand this situation. However, efforts should be made through professional development to make a change.

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  4. Wonder if i got any nicknames.I do the same in a different manner, it must be a human thing.Never got to listen to your radio program, maybe it is on the net

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    1. As a teacher, the kids always had a nickname for me but I usually didn't know it.

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  5. Hi Red, Thanks for the book review. I will check it out. Yes, I remember ... teachers had some code words too! :-)

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    1. Kids also had nicknames for us too.

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  6. I just went to my library website and can't find the book there. I'll look over on Amazon. It sounds interesting. Thanks, Red. :-)

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    1. It was published by Harper Collins in 2014. It should be available in the U.S.

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  7. I have heard of frequent flyers we used to use that term for people who call 911 every week for something:(

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  8. From that kind of slang, that's pretty disrespectful of the patient.

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    1. Not only that you start to wonder what kind of care you would be getting.

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  9. I guess we have to be a bit of a psychologist when we meet with our doctors to make sure they here and see us!

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    1. You're right. We can help in the communication.

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  10. It's probably best if I don't know what they are talking about. Not as self-conscience as I've always been. :) It would be an interesting book to read.

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    1. In this day and age we have to be our own advocate when it comes to our health. I ask questions all the time.

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  11. I think I'll be happy in my ignorance of what goes on behind those closed medical doors. The book sounds like a good read!

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    1. I worry how it influences our care. Are they focused on our condition?

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  12. My wife is much more interested in doctors and medicine than I am so I'm going to recommend this book to her. Thanks.

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    1. Men are typically not interested in their own health. Invincible fellows!!!

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  13. I think most people dealing with the public have some way of categorising its members.

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    1. True but when it comes to medical it's a little more crucial.

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  14. Sounds like an interesting read. Healthcare is a compassionate kind of care and I hold doctors and others in this profession at a higher standard. Using the term "Harpooning the whale" is very nasty.

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  15. You've just opened my eyes to a whole new world. I'd never thought of what goes on behind the patient's ears. I suppose it's like every profession though - they most likely all have some way of categorising clients.

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  16. I think it is a matter of knowing what to expect, being prepared, and asking the right questions as a patient. Hubby is pretty respectful, but we have to call them out and report them when they are being stupid. That said, all of our physicians, but one in the ER, were amazing on our cancer journey.

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  17. I've been meaning to get that book. I really like his show on CBC.

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  18. I have found some doctors to be rather... (hmmm... how shall I phrase this?j) arrogant and don't know how to explain things. We've gone back to our nurse practitioner who is an angel and will break it down to language we can understand and grasp.

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