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Sep 21, 2020

Who teaches doctors how to speak to patients (or each other)? It’s usually something that’s picked up as you go. Let’s be honest though, some clinicians are much better at clear and empathetic communication than others. It’s an under taught skill that’s way more important than the attention it gets. In this episode we take a look into the mind and practices of master clinician Loren Rauch. Loren is one of the wisest clinicians we know and intentionally applies humanity to every aspect of his practice. Among the topics addressed are:  the ethical imperative of the well-deserved compliment; navigating difficult conversations; communicating with trainees, nurses and new learners; and tips for dealing with patient anxiety.

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Guest Bio: Loren Rauch, MD is a graduate of UCSF Medical School and holds masters degrees in both public health and health sciences from UC Berkeley. He completed his emergency medicine training at Harbor, UCLA and, in addition to decades of clinical experience in the United States, he has spent time as an instructor for first responders in the jungles of Southeast Asia. 

We discuss:

  • Why we should thank patients for coming in to the emergency department, regardless of their chief complaint [05:15];
  • Using humor to reframe something you dread into something that makes you laugh [10:10];
  • Tips for helping ease the anxiety many patients (especially kids) have when in the ED [11:40];
  • Pros and cons of wearing a white coat [19:10];
  • Different approaches to informing patients about what tests you plan to do [22:15];
  • How to deliver the bad news of a miscarriage [24:55];
  • Helping family members when their loved one is dying [30:30];
  • The importance of taking a mindful pause after a patient’s death [36:50];
  • The heightened responsibility of the team leader in the ED [41:00];
  • Why doctors need to have sympathy for themselves, and it is a lifetime of practice [42:00];
  • The value of being conflict avoidant in clinical practice [46:00];
  • The resentment that comes from comparing your tasks to someone else’s, and how this can suck the joy out of your work [49:15];
  • The ethical imperative of the well-deserved compliment [53;30];
  • Why our job isn’t to be right; our job is to be reasonable [56:20];
  • And more.


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