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.