Clinic Example 1

Common Communication Error:

Implying patient inadequacy/failure: Clinic Example 1

Mr. Rand Thomas is a 62 year old male diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer who has tried several types of experimental chemotherapy. The latest round of chemo therapy was completely ineffectual. He is being seen in the oncology clinic and the oncologist is going to discharge him from clinic.

Dr. Mathys: “You have failed chemotherapy. So I am going to refer you to hospice.”

Mr. Thomas: “When will I see you again?”

Dr. Mathys: “Well there is no need for you to come back to see me. There is nothing further I can do.”

Mr. Thomas: “Is this it, then?”

Dr. Mathys: “…….”?

What was not addressed: “The treatment has failed, not you.”

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