Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Helping patients to make sense of medical research

Often doctors are worried that patients will not be able to understand complex medical issues and will get confused by medical jargon. This is why many of them will oversimplify matters, or talk down to patients. However, it's important to remember that all patients are different , and many are very analytical and intelligent, and quite capable of doing their own research and making their own deicisons. Often intelligent patients are the best medical research assistants - and they do it all for free !

Doctors may need to guide them in the beginning, to help them sort out the wheat from the chaff, but patients are highly motivated, and can learn very quickly. Many of the clever ones will end up teaching their doctors too !

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