Ten Words For Healthy Communication
Last week I presented ‘The Healthy Communication Workshop’ to the freshmen med students at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. As I’ve written before on this blog, I love this opportunity to touch the lives of future physicians.
What is healthy communication? The purpose of healthy communication is to bring about positive change, which ultimately is the role of a doctor whose primary concern is the health of his or her patient, whether that’s restoring it, maintaining it, or increasing it. That’s not all doctors of course, as many are disease focused. Their primary concern is to diagnose and treat disease, more often than not using petroleum derivatives and cutting off troublesome body parts).
Healthy communication is fundamental in the doctor/patient relationship.But healthy communication isn’t just about interacting with patients. And it isn’t just for doctors and medical students.
It’s also essential for students to be able to deal with each other in a high stress environment, and to engage with their teachers and school administrators too. It’s also a necessary element in dealing with the community around the school, the profession itself, and in building connections between the profession and potential allies in the policy making arena. And it’s for the rest of us too, because we all find ourselves in situations where our communication has the potential to create and initiate positive outcomes, if we go about it in a healthy way, or perpetuate and even aggravate a problem if we don’t.
The workshop is organized around ten words, and in future posts, I’ll review the words and the ideas they represent. For now, I’ll just give you the list.
Feel free to leave a comment in which you riff on these words, or question them, or offer your insights and guesses as to what they mean and how they apply to the topic of Healthy Communication.