Table 3.

Advice to Physicians: Communication

* Includes illustrative, verbatim quotes from patients’ open-ended responses.
Ask—get involved
Be assertive in looking for problems
Probe and ask
Don’t let them lie about it; get to the bottom of it
While the doctor cannot be a cure-all, a sympathetic ear helps a lot
Be willing to listen if you ask. Take time to hear it out
Listen to what people aren’t saying
Other communication skillsBe objective
Establish comfortable relationship first
Ask if they can help, but do not insist or demand
Keep talking on equal grounds
Don’t look down on patients
Don’t try to take sides based on one person’s input