When the Medical News Isn’t Good

Oncologists often have to deliver bad news to their patients, but repetition doesn’t make the task any easier. Relaying complex information about test results, treatment plans, risks and survival chances is challenging, writes Cleveland Clinic oncologist Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS — especially with patients who have comprehension difficulties.

Honoring Values for Patients With Serious Illness

Palliative medicine specialist Laura Shoemaker, DO, believes that it’s key for physicians to begin a difficult conversation by finding out what the patient knows about their condition. “Ask what they’ve been told and what their understanding of that is. Find out what’s most important to them.”