Sugar: Not Just for Mary Poppins

A patient’s perception of a doctor can change instantaneously when the doc treats them like a person, not a collection of symptoms. The switch from view the doc as a cold clinician to a caring (or at least attentive) human being is sometimes all that it takes to get the relationship — and thus the health care plan — back on track.

Abigail Zuger describes this experience from an MD’s point of view:

“But with experience came the knowledge that, without those clichĂ©s and innumerable others like them, the game is lost before it even begins. When almost every other word out of your mouth is destined to be an unwelcome reminder, dire prediction or insulting remark of some sort, it is really essential to be able to dilute it all with a little harmless verbal goo.”

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