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The Challenges Of Doctor-Patient Communication

The large wound left after Alicair Peltonen’s leg tumor was removed (courtesy of Alicair Peltonen)

The large wound left after Alicair Peltonen’s leg tumor was removed (courtesy of Alicair Peltonen)

With all the amazing advances of medical science, sometimes what patients need the most is something very basic: good communication with their doctors. The ability to ask questions and get clear answers.

But it turns out, that’s not always so straightforward.


Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s Commonhealth blog.

Alicair Peltonen, who wrote about her own experience of mis-communication or lack of communication for Commonhealth.

Dr. Jo Shapiro, Chief of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and director of the new Center for Professionalism and Peer Support at the Brigham.


Commonhealth But five years later I’m still haunted by conversations I didn’t have. If I had been admitted to the hospital while my wound was open, would I have been in less pain? If another surgeon had been consulted, would the closing process have gone more smoothly? Could a vascular surgeon have prevented the lymphatic fluid drainage issue?

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