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How refocusing conversations between doctors and their patients can lead to better health

Despite modern medicine's infatuation with high-tech gadgetry, the single most powerful diagnostic tool is the doctor-patient conversation, which can uncover the lion's share of illnesses. However, what patients say and what doctors hear are often two vastly different things.

Patients, anxious to convey their symptoms, feel an urgency to "make their case" to their doctors. Doctors, under pressure to be efficient, multitask while patients speak and often miss the key elements. Add in stereotypes, unconscious bias, conflicting agendas, and the fear of lawsuits and the risk of misdiagnosis and medical errors multiplies dangerously.

Though the gulf between what patients say and what doctors hear is often wide, Dr. Danielle Ofri proves that it doesn't have to be. Through the powerfully resonant human stories that Ofri is celebrated for, she explores the high-stakes world of doctor-patient communication that we all must navigate. Reporting on the latest research studies and interviewing scholars, doctors, and patients, Ofri reveals how better communication can lead to better health for all of us.

About the Author

Danielle Ofri

Danielle Ofri is a doctor at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Her newest book is "What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine" (Beacon Press, 2013) . She is an associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine and has cared for patients at Bellevue for over two decades.

Her other books are "Incidental Findings," "Medicine in Translation," and the classic "Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue."

She is a regular contributor to the New York Times' Op-Ed page and Well blog. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Bellevue Literary Review--the first literary magazine to arise from a medical center.

Danielle lives in New York City with three very active kids, an aging lab-mutt, and the forever challenges of the cello.

Here's her TEDMED talk on Deconstructing Perfection: https://youtu.be/CaSv741Gjlg

All of Danielle's articles can be found at: www.danielleofri.com

Twitter: @danielleofri
Facebook: Danielle-Ofri-Writer

(Photo Credits: Joon Park and John Abbot)

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