Bad News from doctors

As mentioned in a previous post, lately I have had to interpret bad news to patients. It is one of those necessary responsibilities interpreters have to perform. For this post, I would like to talk about when the doctor has to give bad news.

I have had many conversations with different doctors, some of whom have been accused of being in the insurance company’s pocket. After long conversations, my feeling is that these doctors are doing what they judge to be right. Some might say that they are not trying every possible solution.  The defense is that they are being realistic. I have heard complaints of doctors being cold, harsh and rude. The doctors feel that they are honest and do not gloss over bad news. They are trying to help the patient see the truth.

People are driven to become doctors in order to help others. Just like the country is politically fractured into two opposing philosophies, conservative and liberal, democrat and republican, doctors also have different views on how to best treat a patient. They will always have critics. I’m sure no doctor enjoys giving the patient bad news. As an interpreter, my job is to facilitate vital communication. It is not my place to voice my opinion about how a doctor practices medicine. When the patient is given bad news, I feel bad for the doctor also, the one having to give the bad news.

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1 thought on “Bad News from doctors”

  1. I think interpreters’ organization has a duty to educate regular users of interpretation too, like in this case people in the medical profession. No matter how you decide to convey the bad news, it’s better to know how you do it so that you come across correctly when working with interpreter.

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