Have you ever wondered why you can never understand what comes out of a doctor’s mouth? Its like he is speaking another language filled with twice as many words, longer than you thought should ever exist. This is because in the medical field there is certain health literacy, meaning, unless our a health care professional, who’s undergone years of studying this literacy, its going to be rather hard to comprehend why you found yourself talking to a doctor in the first place. This health literacy helps doctors and professionals in the medical field communicate with each other efficiently and accurately. As a pre-med major, figuring out this literacy is what will change me from an undergrad to a professional. The complexity of communication that is present in the medical field allows professionals to execute their duties with perfection.
One form of this different language is face-to-face communication. Between doctor and patient communication can be tough. Many factors are involved in face-to-face communication. One limitation is vocabulary. Doctors are trained to use and understand a multitude of advance words, which add together to create a health literacy. Defined by he American Medical Association, health literacy is ‘a constellation of skills, including the ability to perform basic reading and numerical tasks required to function in the health care environment”(Saffeer, Richard S., MD, and Jann Keenan). Health literacy is the basic understanding of language and math that allows people to function properly in a health care environment. This advance set of vocabulary has been ingrained into the minds of eager students. It is the language they have been studying and learning for years.
Doctors are used to communicating with a stronger set of words therefore, have trouble communicating with people who do not understand some of the advance terminology they used casually. This crutch can effect the treatment of the patient. “Patients with inadequate health literacy are more likely to be hospitalized than patients with adequate skills. Patients understand medical information better when spoken to slowly, simple words are used, and a restricted amount of information is presented” (Saffeer, Richard S., MD, and Jann Keenan). This understanding gap between doctor and patient is a serious literacy issue in the medical field.
Another form of communication is body language. Many doctors need to be able to read body language properly. This allows the patient to feel comfortable. Doctors know just about everything they need to know about why someone is sick or why they are in pain. The patient, on the other hand, has visited the doctor to obtain this knowledge. They do not know what is wrong with them. Doctors have to dumb down what they know and communicate it so that regardless of age or intelligence, they will be able to understand and feel comfortable.
This communication can be trained and in fact, a special set of doctors, doctors of...