by Karen Knops, MD
Each meeting with a physician or other healthcare professional is a shared journey. It can be healing and affirming, or a source of confusion and mistrust. There is increasing evidence that communication often falls short in healthcare. A few thoughtful steps can help: preparing for the visit, having a concise summary ready to share, prioritizing your concerns to make sure they are discussed, exploring anything you don’t understand, getting the clear next steps, and writing or recording the visit. Those steps can be summarized in A-S-C-E-N-D.