Saturday, May 22, 2010


Laughter is not always the best medicine. Sometimes we use a smile or a laugh to create a bit of a rapport with the patients and prove that we’re not just robots trained to poorly recite the Oxford handbooks. Sometimes it’s nice to get a patient to smile after a tense or teary consultation. Sometimes a patient will tell a joke of their own accord, and it’s only polite to laugh then.

But sometimes, it’s just not appropriate. When a patient is expressing their distrust of the medical profession and says something like, “the doctor ignored my shoulder pain and it turns out I was having a heart attack” ... well, then it’s probably time to put on your empathy face.

Turns out, there are people out there who don’t realise this.

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