Skills for Communicating with Patients

Skills for Communicating with Patients, Second Edition


Dr. Jonathan Silverman

Dr. Suzanne Kurtz

Dr. Juliet Draper

Five Stars!


This has been the most helpful book I have read from the Veterinary Economics 25 Books List. It is an excellent communication book written for MD’s, though the authors have worked with veterinarians too, which I thought was cool.

It is a medical school textbook, and it took me FOREVER to read! SO worth it though. And I am pretty sure I drug my heels a bit in finishing it, because now that it is over, my project is over. *sniff* I am not ready for that! My next two posts will be a SUMMARY of the project and “Bunny Trails” that is, books I have decided to read during this reading project. So maybe it is not over…maybe it is the beginning of a whole new chapter of reading awesomeness…

Anyways, this book, Skills for Communicating with Patients, was SO good. It is directed towards medical doctors, but was not even a stretch to apply to my own veterinary practice. In fact, while I was reading the book, I found myself applying what I was learning and communicating even more clearly with clients. That is when reading really gets exciting, people!

I am an extreme introvert, so it is sometimes assumed that I suck at communicating, but I think my introversion is, in fact, an asset in my practice. Listening and empathy come naturally to me, and though I am awkward in all sorts of unfamiliar social situations,* I really, really enjoy and feel confident going over medical information with clients…so it feels good to read about and improve at something I already love to do.

The book goes way beyond the “active listening” I learned in college communications classes, and covers in great detail the entire medical interview, with wonderful examples and exhaustive research to support the authors’ recommendations.

I feel as though the more I can grasp of what is taught in this book, the better communicator I can become. Very important, of course, when the lives and well-being of pets are at stake, but important for us all in any situation. So even if you are in a non-medical career, you may very well enjoy this book!

The Cover: I love the cover of the second edition – very pretty…blue and yellow with a neat splotchy pattern.

I am already a fourth of the way through the book a second time, this time with a very bright yellow Sharpie highlighter. It really does feel like I am back in school! In a good way…

Bunny Trails: This book is one of a two volume set. I plan on obtaining and reading Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine as soon as possible. Not that I ever want to teach this stuff, at least not formally, but I feel as though I am missing “half the story,” as that book was often referenced in this one, and more importantly, after reading Skills for Communicating with Patients, I do not want to miss anything any of these three authors write!

More Bunny Trails: I heard a wild rumor that there were veterinary communication classes being taught in Colorado…I would very much like to find out what that is all about. Classes that are anything like this book sound very fun. I don’t think they are related, or taught by the authors, but I will find out, and then you can come with me!

*That is social awkwardness, not introversion, people! There are very cool introverts – I just do not happen to be one of them! Also, I always throw myself into new situations anyways, because it is always worth it, and I always end up having a great time. The first ten minutes can be a little rough! ;)


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