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SUMMARISING

 Benefits to the doctor:

·        opportunity to put the pause button on

·        gives the doctor a chance to put his thoughts in order, and hypothesise and begin to problem-solve

·        gives the doctor a chance to communicate back to the patient his understanding of

what the patient has said

·        gives the doctor the chance to clarify and check the accuracy of his understanding

·        gives the doctor the chance to move on;  for example, to ask closed / direct questions

·        gives the doctor the chance to take control, keep the consultation on course, continue with a structure throughout, and keep the “flow” going

 

Benefits to the patient:

·        allows the patient some space to think

·        shows the patient that the doctor has heard what he / she said

·        gives the patient the chance to correct any inaccuracies, and then to continue with the story, raise other concerns, or answer direct questions

·        promotes equality and collaboration in the patient/doctor relationship

 

Summarising ensures an interactive communication

                        structures the consultation and helps to use time constructively for                                            both parties

                        reduces uncertainty for both the patient and the doctor

                        helps to build the relationship between doctor and patient                

 USEFUL PHRASES FOR SUMMARISING AND CHECKING

“ok”    .........and then name or list the main points the patient has made, checking as                           you go,  “is that right.......have I got that right?”

 “So can I just go through them so I’m aware of everything………”

 “I’d like to get this clear….............am I right?”

 “so...... there’s.........(and list the points, perhaps on your fingers)….have I missed anything out?

 “Tell me if I’ve got this clear......”

 “It seems as if............”

 “I’d like to pause a minute and see if I’ve understood you correctly............”

                      (then name the problems as you see them)

 “Let me take a moment to check that I’ve got it right.........”

 “Can I put it into my words..........?”

 “Let’s just recap............” 

“You said/you mentioned x...y.......z.........”

 

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