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  • Having difficulty working with non–English-speaking patients?
  • Need guidance about how to deliver difficult news?
  • Wondering what kind of educational assistance is out there for students with special health care needs?

Browse through the readings and tools derived from our cases. You might find just what you've been looking for.

Tools gear

Quick guides for use in clinic or at the bedside. Develop expertise in conducting patient and family-centered interviews and build rewarding therapeutic relationships. Choose one of our mobile-friendly tools or follow the links to additional resources:

Learn the Child Developmental Milestones (birth to 5 years)

Being familiar with the typical milestones infants and children reach as they grow—and recognizing when development is not proceeding as expected—is a fundamental skill in the practice of pediatrics. But trying to memorize the tasks in each domain from a textbook can be a chore. 
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Community Review of Systems

When taking a patient's social history, using an approach modeled on the review of systems (ROS) helps ensure that the important topics related to community are addressed. The categories and questions in the chart below are meant to serve only as examples. The community ROS may be expanded to include topics specific to the community/ies in which the patients of a particular provider live and work.

If time does not allow a thorough review of all the categories, asking the simple question, “To whom do you turn if you come across a difficulty in your life?” is a good start. Read more...

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Self-Reflection

The power endowed to healthcare providers by patients can be helpful in the diagnosis and management of illness, but it can also work to a doctor’s disadvantage if a patient feels too intimidated to divulge information, ask questions, or disagree.

Using the self-reflection tool will give you a few ideas of how to shift the balance of power back to the patient to create more equal footing. As always, awareness of your patients and yourself is key. Read more...

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Shared Decision-Making: Using the LEARN Model

This patient interview model was developed to facilitate communication between patient and clinician and to enhance the understanding of illness. The hope is that, with its use, the practitioner and the patient will reach a mutually acceptable and culturally sensitive treatment.

L isten with empathy (Having empathy means to experience the feelings and thoughts of another and is contrasted with sympathy, sharing the feelings of another, and apathy, the lack of feeling.)

E xplain your perceptions of the problem

A cknowledge and discuss the differences and similarities between your viewpoints and those of the patient. The critical aspect is to demonstrate respect for the patient’s viewpoint

R ecommend treatment (as opposed to “order” treatment)

N egotiate treatment

Use of interviewing models such as LEARN invite patients to participate with physicians in the understanding of illness etiology and in the formulation of treatment plans, essential to a strong doctor patient relationship. Read more...

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Working with an Interpreter

When the patient and physician do not speak the same language, a professional interpreter should be employed to facilitate the interview.

Review our list of tips before beginning any interpreter-assisted communication with a patient or family members. Read more...

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Delivering Bad News

Delivering bad news in pediatrics can range from the routine—such as telling a parent that a child will have to have blood drawn—to news as serious as the new diagnosis of a chronic illness. Practice, whether simulated or reall, is the best way to become comfortable delivering difficult news, but you may these specific recommendations about how to share bad news useful. Or read about how best to help families cope...

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The Medical Interview

Review general principles about approaching the interview with the parents or guardian of a child with a chronic illness. View guidelines.

Medical Interview Template

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, goal-oriented counseling method for resolving ambivalence and promoting positive change by eliciting and strengthening the person’s own motivation for change. Read more...

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Community Resources

Concise information about a variety of national, state, and local agencies to assist you in meeting the developmental, educational, and psychological needs of your patients and their families.

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