• Put yourself in the patient's shoes. What would you be concerned about and want to know? What would you be feeling? Tell patients the answers to these perhaps unspoken questions.
• Before sending a patient to another specialist, tell them why they are going.
• When seeing new patients, check that they know why you are examining/ treating them. Explain what will happen and when results will be available. They may have been told these things already, but memories are unreliable when anxiety levels are high, and with several different people to see patients can easily become confused.
• By encouraging patients to learn as much as possible about their condition, to ask questions, and to talk about what concerns them.
• By encouraging patients to ask for recommended sources of information. Give it in any case.
• By building a partnership with your patients.
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