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Tips on Communicating with Your Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Apr 03, 2020
Author: ASRM and MHPG
Published in: ASRM Announcement
Below are some useful recommendations from the Mental Health Professional Group for physicians in communicating with their patients.
- Reach out to patients. This is very much appreciated by patients; some patients expect it; some patients are angry if they do not hear from their doctors.
- Ask patients how they are doing. Inquire about patients’ daily lives: “Are you working from home? Are you alone? How is your extended family doing?"
- Understand that some patients need to “vent” and “blame”.
- Recognize with patients that “we are all in this together.”
- Provide accurate information; solicit and answer questions; give patients resources and useful links for up-to-date information. (There are several good COVID-19 resources and articles for patients at ASRM's patient education website, www.ReproductiveFacts.org.)
- Reassure patients: this will pass; we will get through this; we will be here to support you; we will resume operations as soon as possible.
- Refer your patients to support groups and mental health professionals.
- Stay connected: keep in touch with patients and do “check-ins."
Accept that physicians, used to knowing answers and being in charge, may have difficulty with loss of control, Remain vigilant about increasing self-care and seeking help when needed.
Contributed by Anne Malavé, Ph.D., MHPG Chair, 2019-2020