Why doctors should break bad news as quickly as possible

DOCTORS should be taught to break bad news as quickly as possible during a consultation for the sake of their own mental health, Sydney researchers say.

Delaying the news simply prolongs a doctor's stress and could contribute to burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and a lack of personal accomplishment, they write.

For the study, they strapped electrodes to 31 Sydney doctors and had them break the news of a loved one's death to trained actors.

They found the doctors' heart rate and skin conductance spiked in the moments