Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. Check out our previous discussion as Dr. Kube provides his expert knowledge, below!
Question: What are your top strategies for communicating complicated information with patients?
Richard Kube, MD. Founder and CEO of Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): I am a believer in parable and analogy. I believe using analogies that patients can follow to enhance their understanding and follow my logic is important. Also, pictures are worth a thousand words. I spend time reviewing the images with patients and also use spine models. When all of those tools are utilized, there is a good chance that the patient will have a reasonable idea of what is happening. Finally, ask if they have questions. Let the patient tell you which blanks they need you to fill and then do your best to fill them.