Take time out to listen to patients: IMA tells doctors
IMA launches ‘Sun toh lo’ drive to improve patient-doctor relations. “A doctor’s ability to listen, understand and empathise with patients has profound implications on clinical outcomes,’’ noted the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as it inaugurated its first national-level campaign which aims at improving patient-doctor interactions.

Studies centred on patient-doctor communication have found that physicians wait for around 18 seconds before interrupting a patient’s narrative. Moreover, patients misunderstood directions in over 60% cases. This highlights the need to inculcate listening skills in the Indian medical professional community. It is understandable that with the high-pressure environment of the hospital, paying so much attention to every patient is not an easy task. However, intently listening to a patient for the first few minutes can spare him/her subsequent visits to the hospital, read a statement issued by the Association.

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