Vital Conversations: Improving Communication Between Doctors and Patients

Hardcover | September 23, 2014

byDennis Rosen

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The health-care system in the United States is by far the most expensive in the world, yet its outcomes are decidedly mediocre in comparison with those of other countries. Poor communication between doctors and patients, Dennis Rosen argues, is at the heart of this disparity, a pervasive problem that damages the well-being of the patient and the integrity of the health-care system and society.

Drawing upon research in biomedicine, sociology, and anthropology and integrating personal stories from his medical practice in three different countries (and as a patient), Rosen shows how important good communication between physicians and patients is to high-quality-and less-expensive-care. Without it, treatment adherence and preventive services decline, and the rates of medical complications, hospital readmissions, and unnecessary testing and procedures rise. Rosen illustrates the consequences of these problems from both the caregiver and patient perspectives and explores the socioeconomic and cultural factors that cause important information to be literally lost in translation. He concludes with a prescriptive chapter aimed at building the cultural competencies and communication skills necessary for higher-quality, less-expensive care, making it more satisfying for all involved.

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From the Publisher

The health-care system in the United States is by far the most expensive in the world, yet its outcomes are decidedly mediocre in comparison with those of other countries. Poor communication between doctors and patients, Dennis Rosen argues, is at the heart of this disparity, a pervasive problem that damages the well-being of the pati...

Dennis Rosen, MD, is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist at Boston Children's Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He writes regularly for the medical press as well as for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Pacific Standard. He is also the author of Successful Sleep Strategies for...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:September 23, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231164440

ISBN - 13:9780231164443

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Read an excerpt from the first chapter "Better Outcomes, Lower Costs":

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsAuthor's Note1. Better Outcomes, Lower Costs2. One Size Does Not Fit All3. When Worlds Collide4. Disease, Illness, and Sickness5. Body and Soul6. Reconciling Different Worldviews7. Making It Stick8. Putting It All Together: Creating a Better Clinical EncounterNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

[Dr. Rosen] delivers much of his advice through anecdotes that take readers on a journey through a career filled with both positive and negative instances of doctor-patient communication.