Communication Strategies for Difficult Physician-Patient Interactions

Maureen Leahy

The success of physician-patient relationships is predicated on effective communication. This is especially important when physicians must deliver bad news to a patient or family, deal with patients who are angry or seeking drugs, or handle patients who don’t adhere to treatment due to financial concerns.

During an instructional course on “Difficult Conversations in Orthopaedics,” held during the AAOS 2012 Annual Meeting, members of the AAOS Communication Skills Mentoring Program (CSMP) project team shared tools and techniques that can be used to ease difficult interactions with patients.

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