Patients learn in unique ways.  Every time I sit down to describe a medical condition to a patient, whether through words, or sketches on the back of their clinic paperwork, or by more sophisticated models or images, it is a different experience.  Fitting the medical jargon of a new diagnosis within the level of understanding that already exists within a patient’s mind is a challenge every day.  I am constantly gauging expressions, body language, verbal feedback, the lack of verbal feedback, sometimes tears, and sometimes anger… to figure out my next steps, my next words.  I am also learning with each new patient, with each new consultation, with each new conversation.  The set of diagnoses stay the same, but the experience is new every time.  Focus on each patient requires creativity, concentration, and the ability to adapt and articulate in a way that is understandable to the person sitting in front of me.  Combined with the delivery of empathy, this is a skill that is not easily mastered.

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