About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

7 comments on “Do Your Patients Speak “Doctor”?

  • veterinarians do the same thing. I work in a complementary care facility and every time a new client brings their dog for hydrotherapy, the first conversation invariably is explaining in layman, everyday terminology what their vet has said about their dog’s condition. The use of medical/textbook terminology while NOT explaining in plain language is what sends people to the internet in search of information. I’ve often thought MDs & DVMs overuse of medi-speak is a subtle form of maintaining the barrier of “I am, You’re not” between practitioner & patient. If a practitioner only talks in medi-speak they are, in my opinion, disrespectful of their patient, and thwarting the patient’s right to participate in their own health care.

  • I have a funny suspicion, Dr. Luks. Did the doctor in question know who you are? Perhaps s/he wanted to impress you. ;)

    Agree with your point of course, that it would be unproductive to use surgeon-speak to patients who aren’t surgeons.

  • Yes, there are physicians who speak doctor speak. However, in my 20 plus years working as an RN and now APRN, I have also seen many docs that effectively communicate with patients using vocabulary and language that is understandable and clear. Just like with anything else, practice makes perfect. And yes there are great cme’s and websites that teach clear communication.

    • Stephanie, you are absolutely correct. There are many many excellent physicians who take the time to discuss issues with patients in a language that they are capable of understanding. That said, as I witnessed, there are many still who do not.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Healthcare – Social Media – Orthopedic Surgery

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