Managing difficult patient experiences | AMA (WA)


Doctor reassuring patient

Managing difficult patient experiences

Thursday January 13, 2022

Dr Breanna Hollow

Managing expectations and learning new skills on the fly is essential to the transition from medical school to the workplace according to Dr Breanna Hollow, a 2021 intern at Fiona Stanley Hospital.  

The role of the intern in most hospital teams is one of logistician — organizing investigations, juggling care tasks and maintaining patient relationships. Significantly, having care and compassion, and the simple acknowledgment of a situation goes far in managing disgruntled patients experiencing a range of suffering. 

“Too often we are so focused on physical suffering as the most obvious and often treatable form, that we neglect the other forms of suffering we may also be able to help ameliorate,” said Dr Hollow. 

Dr Hollow assures that while there will be difficult moments — ones involving loss and uncomfortable interactions,; these form defining moments of character and integrity building that are not taught at medical school.  

*Read the full article in the AMA (WA)’s Internship 101 guide, page 6.