Welcome to the series 10 Minutes to Better Patient Communication
In this episode, you’ll meet Dr. Liebel, and you’ll learn:
- the story behind this podcast and how it came to be,
- who Dr. Liebel is and why you’re here together,
- what you can expect to learn over the course of the series.
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Hi This is 10 minutes to better patient communication. I’m Dr. Anne Marie Liebel.
The purpose of this podcast is to give you physicians tools and information that you can use to improve your patient communication and education today, with your next patient.
In the 10 minute series, I take one communication question or issue that doctors have raised with me, dig deeper into with some research, then give you a strategy that you can use in your practice today. And I do it all in about 10 minutes.
Except today. This is the intro to the series, where I’ll tell you how it came to be, who I am and why we’re here together, and what you can expect to learn over the course of the series.
The story of this podcast starts a handful of years ago. I had recently finished my degree is in language, literacy and education from the university of Pennsylvania. I was working at another university and was part of a research team on a project involving patient communication. Part of me was like, why do you want a language and literacy and education person on this team? I’m an education researcher, my doctorate’s in literacy!
I shouldn’t have worried. Right away, I was knee deep in issues of patient education and health literacy, cultural and linguistic diversity in communication, and respectful language. Issues of access and inequality and discrimination. All of this was more than familiar to me; it was very much in line with what had been central to my work.
But what really got me is that in the years since then, providers and I would start talking about those issues, but then we would find ourselves also talking about: having to do more with less; feeling deprofessionalized, overwhelmed by accountability requirements; feeling increasingly separated from the reasons that you got into the field to begin with; wondering why the public don’t trust you.
And what all of this had to do with health communication, patient education, health literacy.
These issues are tied to one another and I know it from my work in the education sector. And this is what medical professionals and I wound up talking with about, over and over. Administrators, providers, intermediaries, clinicians, medical educators, public health professionals, academic medicine, biomeds. Hospitals, private practices, med schools, providers who worked in clinics and community health centers, conferences, professional organizations.
What did we talk about?
- Patient misconceptions
- Consent forms
- Medical advice online
- Lack of internally consistent information
- How do you get through to people
- I’m not sure my patient can read
- How do you say things so they’ll remember
- How can I translate what I know into something my patient will understand
- There’s so many barriers to communication
- I have no more time
I was able to provide information and insight that opened up possibilities physicians hadn’t seen before. I brought my research game! All the tools and tactics and processes. And people liked them because they helped, they made a difference in day to day practice.
And I just kept being told, these are serious issues, these are conversations that need to happen more.
And they told me, Anne Marie we need what you’re bringing. Get this out there. As fast as you can.
It’s taken me a little while about a year actually to figure out what that might mean and how to do that.
This podcast is part of it. I’m creating it to help you improve your own patient education and communication by putting tools and information right in your hands, in a way that’s scholarly but not stuffy.
This whole need for cross sector collaboration is no joke.
There are some hidden gems in the literacy area that have lessons that a can be helpful to medical fields. But there are barriers and they are real. The two sectors don’t get to see each other so I’m trying to continue the cross-sector conversations that have started.
I started healthcommunicationpartners.com. So as much as I’m still playing by the rules in the researcher part of my role, I’m trying to lower some of the barriers to participation. Basically take these conversations out there, topics actual physicians and other providers have wanted to talk about.
Actual problems. Make it easy to join in, as providers have asked me. There are lots of people trying to figure this out.
I really want to focus on you, physicians, as providers. On what these conversations I’ve been having for years can do to help you. Right now, in your practice.
A podcast just made sense.
When I was considering what topics to talk about and what to say, I thought it would be fun to start with a ‘quickies’ series, one topic at a time.
This podcast exists to give you the benefit of the conversations I’ve already had, and also invite you into the conversation.
Basically this is taking the conversation I’ve had, the problems that came up repeatedly or really got people fired up, and then drilling down to: here is research that can help you understand this issue and what we know about it already across sectors. Here are some tools. Here are steps you can take right now.
This podcast is geared toward physicians, but I hope other providers will find it helpful.
I’m inviting you to listen but also to join in—become part of the show by writing me. Let me know what you’re wondering about in issues of health communication, health literacy, health education. What you know, what’s on your mind, what would you like to talk about. I could feature your question in a future podcast.