more about dying

what are your goals of care

clinical empathy oncotalk

Make eye contact with the patient, not the computer. Don’t stand over a hospitalized patient, pull up a chair. Don’t conduct a monologue in off-putting medicalese. Pay attention to tone of voice, which can be more important than what is said. When delivering bad news, schedule the patient for the end of the day and do not allow interruptions. Find out what the patient is most concerned about and figure out how best to address that.

“Never answer a feeling with a fact.” That means responding to a patient in a six-month remission from cancer who reports having a sore elbow by saying, “Tell me more about your elbow. This is probably scary stuff” and not “Your scans show no evidence of disease.”