Intended for healthcare professionals

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Reframing the “heartsink” feeling can help doctors find a resolution

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: (Published 27 June 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1427

Rapid Response:

Re: Reframing the “heartsink” feeling can help doctors find a resolution

Dear Editor

People will actually put off seeing a doctor or wait for weeks to see a specific helpful doctor because of that heartsink feeling when the only consultation available is with someone who does not have the social skills or temperament necessary to adjust to different personalities in a meaningful way. A certain doctor will often be identified as someone to avoid by others as well as those labelled as giving the 'heartsink' feeling.

It is quite rare for a person who is at a certain disadvantage to start with to be able to take the lead by letting a doctor know what the problems are in the relationship from their perspective. Perhaps the next 'Wounded Healer' conference referred to by the author of the article could break down a few barriers to improving communication by including people who have experienced 'heartsink' doctors. To talk openly 'with' others rather than 'about' others might be enlightening to both sides.

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 July 2024
Susanne Stevens