Many doctors find themselves unprepared to discuss dying with their patients, writes a physician for Stat News.
In the process of my coursework, I also realized that significant communication barriers exist between physicians and patients to discussing end-of-life care. When physicians aren’t trained about how to approach patients and their families regarding end-of-life decisions, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to provide the care they want and need.
In one survey, nearly half of the medical students and residents who responded reported being underprepared to address patient concerns and fears at the end of life. About the same percentage said that “dying patients were not considered good teaching cases.” In other words, patients on palliative care with no need of further interventions were seen as offering little in the way of imparting clinical knowledge — even though they might have been wonderful cases for learning more about death and dying.
Read the whole story at www.statnews.com
Just a reminder to those who are considering additional training in this area. You need to think outside the box on this topic. End of life issues can also occur at the beginning of life (NICU, PICU). A series of lectures on this was offered at the AARC meeting in 2014.