Making the best of bad news
- Breaking bad news a difficult but common part of GP role
- Registrars often unprepared for this daunting task
- Speak "simply, plainly, kindly" and put own emotions aside
- Create a calm environment without interruptions
- Come prepared with information, treatment options and treatment success rates
OF all the hard jobs faced by GPs, delivering a tough diagnosis or bad news to a patient ranks as one of the hardest. As the first stop for many patients facing a serious illness, GPs are often the first medical professional to break any bad news.
For registrars with limited face-to-face experience with patients, it can be a daunting prospect.
“The process itself is difficult, but being the person who diagnoses something quite serious is, on a personal level, quite challenging,” says Dr Belinda Guest, former chair of General