The Day I Zipped My Lips and Let My Patients Talk

“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak,” said Epictetus. It’s clear that the Greek philosopher wasn’t a physician in 21st century America. How long, I’ve sometimes wondered, would my patients actually talk if I didn’t say anything at all? More

Doctors need to be aware of their own biases towards patients

Modifying our external behavior and how we communicate is clearly important, but I believe we in the medical profession have a duty to work to change our inner landscapes as well. It’s a tall order, I realize, but if we wish to claim the high mantle of professionalism, we need to at least be actively attempting to challenge our gut feelings. More

Globe & Mail review of “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear”

Ofri argues in her new book “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear” that the conversations doctors have with their patients are the most important part of a medical visit, far surpassing blood tests, X-rays or various scans. And she believes it’s time both doctors and patients give these conversations their due. More

Washington Post Review of “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear.”

“If you’ve switched physicians in search of someone more caring, or left an exam feeling unseen and unheard, you will find much to appreciate in Danielle Ofri’s perceptive book. ” More

A Bellevue Doctor on Trump, Exam Room Conversations and Her New Book

Ofri draws on anecdotes and evidence in her new book, “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear,” to argue that, even as technology advances, conversation between patients and doctors remains the “most potent diagnostic—and therapeutic—tool in medicine.” More

Are We Missing the Most Important Aspect of Health Care?

As the medical industry strives for a virtual world in which diagnoses are made and prescriptions rendered on a smartphone app, Ofri argues that successful conversation is the primary driver of healing. Sadly dialectics remain a longstanding elephant in the office: doctors enter with opinions, patients their own, the ticking clock on the wall in plain view of both parties. More

Book Launch!

You are cordially invited to the book launch for What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear. The launch will take place at two of my favorite bookstores: the Strand and the Upper West Side Barnes & Nobles.  I hope you can join me for one of them. Strand Bookstore Broadway and 12th St, Monday, Feb 6, at … More

The Conversation Placebo

Pain remedies developed by the pharmaceutical industry are only modestly effective, and they have side effects that range from nausea and constipation to addiction and death. What’s often overlooked is that the simple conversation between doctor and patient can be as potent an analgesic as many treatments we prescribe. More

Should Doctors Treat Trump Anxiety?

Doctors deal with side effects all the time—side effects of medications, side effects of diseases, side effects of treatments. But side effects of an election is new territory for us. We can report medication side effects to the FDA, but to whom do we report election side effects? More

Podcast: Listen to the Patient!

Danielle is interviewed by Joe Elia from the New England Journal of Medicine about her new book, “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear.” More

Poetry in Medicine

When I make rounds with medical students and interns, I’ve often tried to sneak in a poem at the end. It’s not always the most well-received bit of medical teaching, More

The Insanity of Recertification

Studying for the boards is like stuffing your face at a hot dog–eating contest: The first few hundred pages are intriguing and tasty; the next few hundred are interesting, but your brain is feeling sluggish. The remaining thousand pages are just confettied sauerkraut delivered by dump-truck onto a comatose slop of neurons. More

Just a “Regular” Doctor

“What’s your specialty?” This question continually flummoxes me. This is the moment that I experience a brief surge of envy toward my cardiology and dermatology colleagues who have simple one-word answers to this question that any lay person can understand. More

The Doctor-Patient Relationship is Alive and Well

Medicine is unquestionably harder than it was 10 years ago. Many more doctors I know talk about quitting (an option that is not equally available to patients). However, there’s been no mass exodus of doctors. We doctors grumble loudly — often with good cause — but we aren’t quitting in droves, mainly because of patients like Ms. M. More

Why Does the Physical Exam Stop at the Navel?

It’s like our patients are Humpty Dumpty, and the pieces are divvied out between different medical fields. Can we put the patient back together again? More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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