As a doctor, I build my career on having conversations. It is important to me that I choose the right words to say in all of my interactions. This is part of effective communication.

A tip for all.

Do not describe people by their diseases. Examples of getting this right.

1) A patient is not diabetic. A person lives with diabetes.

2) It is not okay to assume a person “suffers from diabetes.” Again, a person lives with diabetes. Allow the person to tell you whether or not they suffer because of it.

Do you have any examples of common mistakes in the way we communicate in health care? Please do share your thoughts.

You might even teach me a thing or two about what I am doing wrong! I’m all ears.

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