Saturday, October 24, 2020

Why I think aloud when talking to my IVF patients

I often think aloud when formulating the IVF treatment plan in front of my patients. 

Now this might sound surprising, because most patients expect their doctors to be expert oracles who tell them what to do.

I do this deliberately,  because then they can see my thought processes , and on what basis I have made my decisions. 

Medicine is a complex science, and the outcomes of IVF are always unpredictable, 

When they can follow my logic, they know on what basis I have chosen a particular option for them. Making my reasoning open and transparent is helpful, because it allows patients to share in the decision-making process.

They can ask me why I prefer a particular treatment plan, as compared to its alternative. It also encourages them to offer me additional options to consider, so they can provide their own inputs.

Because I'm thinking aloud, I have to be clear and cogent in my logic, because I need to explain this to my patient. This sharpens my thinking, and makes the patient much more involved and engaged in what's happening to them.

It also shows I respect them, and expect them to participate as partners in their treatment.

This strategy helps me to demystify IVF for them, and they can see I am being thoughtful and analytical when formulating a personalized treatment plan for them. 

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