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Practical Plans for Difficult Conversations in Medicine


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Prescribing the Doctor as Part of the Treatment
1. Some "Can't Go Wrong" Tips
2. Breaking Bad News: The SPIKES Protocol
3. Disclosing Error: The CONES Protocol
4. Managing Conflict and Escalation: The HARD Protocol
5. Giving Information Effectively: The SAFER Protocol
6. Some Particularly Difficult Conversations
Conclusion: Putting It All Together and Making a Difference in Communication
Appendix: Notes to Accompany the Scenarios on DVD

About the Author

Robert Buckman, M.D., Ph.D. (1948-2011), was an oncologist and professor at the University of Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital. He was the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters as well as of books, including How to Break Bad News, What You Really Need to Know about Cancer, and Human Wildlife, all three published by Johns Hopkins.


Buckman offers the tools and knowledge base to help a medical practitioner start and maintain a professional conversation during extremely sensitive times and circumstances... Highly recommended. Choice Practical Plans for Difficult Conversations aims to ground its ideas firmly within the real world of clinical medicine. All of the examples are set in real situations and this is the book's main strength. Readers will recognise, immediately, the areas that do cause problems, and will be able to imagine themselves within each scenario. Times Educational Supplement The book, stylistically, is written in a relatively non abstruse manner. Indeed, the book's contents are characterized notably by relative ease of reading. The 'empathic response' is explained in detail, in Chapter 1. In Buckman's view, the empathic response is the most direct and simplest way of acknowledging the emotions of another person; and the belief of Buckman is that it is the most useful communication technique for any difficult conversation. In subsequent chapters, Buckman, in a characteristically practical, insightful, and thoughtful way, identifies and describes the components comprising various communication protocols, designed to closely fit particular types of medical situations. Metapsychology

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