Previous information: Research Question
As an Exercise Science Physiology major with a goal of becoming a Physical Therapist I wanted to be able to connect my research question to my major and to make deeper connections to my desired job. During my study I found information about how acronyms and double speak affect the medical field. I also conducted interviews about patients’ views about doctors and the medical field in general.
During my research I found the article OMG, ETC. by Robert Lane Greene. (P.118-126). This article became very important to my research when he discussed how acronyms have become very common in today’s society. I believe that acronyms in the medical field need to be used and explained carefully. Without explanation of acronyms being used it can cause communication failure and confusion to the patient. Not only can abbreviations cause confusion but the improper use of abbreviations may cause the doctor to sound unprofessional. This can cause the doctor to lose credibility in their practice.
Although I do believe that the use of acronyms is very helpful in the medical field. While in my COMP250 class we discussed how all of our professions have specific acronyms. We found that many professions tend to borrow acronyms from each other.
During an interview with Carlie Anderson we found that the acronyms Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Electrocardiogram (EKG) are used in her major, Psychology as well as in the Exercise Science Physiology Field. Although these acronyms are easily understood between us they are not used in every day jobs outside of the medical field. I have found that the trouble with the same acronyms in multiple fields of work is the communication barriers it can create when the acronyms actually stand for different things.
A question that arises is, How can doctors explain these acronyms effectively when the patient has no background knowledge? This can prove to be a very challenging task.
Finding a way to clearly explain an acronym using broad terms and having to using examples is a very time-consuming task. This task brings me to my next question; Could time barriers for each patient be the cause of lack of explanation of a condition between doctor and patient?
When reading Doubts About Doublespeak. by William Lutz. (P.198-203) it helped provide examples of every day use of doublespeak. I have found that many doctors tend to use doublespeak during their careers. Because of this lack of communication due to doublespeak I believe this is what attributes to people not trusting doctors. If the patient is getting sugar-coated truth about their condition they may begin to feel cheated of their diagnosis causing more distrust.
From this communication barrier trust is broken resulting in doctors as a whole getting a bad reputation. Leading me to believe that doublespeak should be avoided so that communication is very clear between patient and therapist. Another question I have run into is that if a doctor uses doublespeak how can a patient truly know the extent of their condition, especially if the diagnosis is being disguised?
To support my claims I found an article by Riner, Myles, MD. “Why Patients Have Lost Trust in Their Doctors. His blog taught me about the many restrictions that are put on doctors and how it is difficult for them to effectively help every patient to the extent that they would like. I also learned that Riner suggests that some doctors do not explain everything toughly because they have to meet with tons of patients in so little time. This lack of communication could be unintentional, but with some doctors they do not want to go out of their way to try to explain everything to a patient who does not understand it all. Riners article connects me back to my first statement about acronyms and wither or not time barriers can be creating language barriers.
A couple of questions I have run into include because of this article are; Do doctors use doublespeak as a way to make their jobs easier? Should patients be more sympathetic about the doctors’ use of doublespeak?
When I conducted two interviews with patients I was surprised to hear their opposing views of doctors and of the medical field in general. For privacy of the identities of the two people I interviewed I will use letters to represent each of them.
During the interview with Q I asked her about her overall experiences with doctors and her medical care. She said that overall she is disappointed by her doctors’ practice. They have never provided her with enough information about any of her conditions. She said that she was even provided prescription that was not very helpful for her because they did not run enough tests to find if she needed a different type of prescription for a similar illness. She said that her doctors always seemed rushed and acted as if they wanted to just get her out of their door. Q’s views helped show me that time limits set for doctors per patient do in fact create hindrances when treating a patient.
My interview with T was quite the opposite than the interview with Q. Asking the same question T said that she is very happy with her medical care. During her time in the hospital she said that she was well taken care of and had all of her questions answered. T was provided with proper medication and after care for her medical need. Because of these opposing views of the medical practice and doctors I had another question arise.
My question now is; Do the views of the medical field by patients depend on the geographical location of the treatment? Going along with this question I must ask Why would the geographical location affect the view of the medical field?
Link to my Research Conclusion.