Recently, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) ran a compelling opinion piece1 from Boston physician Dr. Abraar Karan on why some patients just don’t seem to understand what their doctors are telling them. Here’s how he opens his essay:
“‘Why am I here?’ Mrs. S looked up at me for the first time since I had entered the room and begun speaking to her. I had spent the past five minutes talking about the need for her to start new medications for her heart failure. She had nodded along for most of the conversation, but I wondered if she had heard, or more importantly understood, anything I had been saying. She had had three admissions for worsening heart failure in the past few months. And yet she looked at me and said, ‘Do I have heart problems? No one ever told me!’”.