1st Edition

How to Improve Doctor-Patient Connection Using Psychology to Optimize Healthcare Interactions

By Christine J. Ko Copyright 2022
    306 Pages 47 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 47 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How to Improve Doctor-Patient Connection offers actionable steps for improving communication between health professionals and patients based on visual, auditory, and emotional understanding from the principles of cognitive psychology.

    Drawing on the author’s personal experience as both a healthcare professional and a mother of two children, How to Improve Doctor-Patient Connection explores communication between doctors and patients as well as bias in healthcare. This how-to text includes several practical applications that can be applied to healthcare encounters, enabling readers to form habits based on visual analysis of body language, auditory information from language and tone of voice, and logical emotion perception that will allow for improved doctor-patient connection.

    By integrating the perspectives of both doctors and patients and applying a psychological lens, this text is invaluable to healthcare practitioners, students of medicine, healthcare, biology, and related fields, and anyone looking to improve their own or other’s quality of doctor-patient interactions and overall healthcare experience.

    Introduction 1 A Doctor’s Doctor: Showing humanity 2 Metacognition: Thinking about what you do in healthcare interactions 3 Diagnosis and Cognitive Bias: How your thinking can lead to error in healthcare interactions 4 Doctor-patient Connection: Thinking about how doctors and patients communicate 5 Visual Perception: Form an observing habit by thinking about what you see, fast and slow 6 Visual Data for Optimizing Healthcare Interactions 7 Auditory Perception: Form a listening habit by thinking about what you hear, fast and slow 8 Auditory Data for Optimizing Healthcare Interactions 9 Emotion Perception: Form a habit of emotional logic by thinking about what you feel, fast and slow 10 Emotion Data for Optimizing Healthcare Interactions 11 The Interplay of What You Feel, Hear, and See


    Christine J. Ko, MD is a Professor of Dermatology and Pathology at Yale University. She has an abiding interest in visual perception and recognition and the parallels with auditory and emotional perception.

    "This book is about the magic of hope – and shows us how hope really is within reach for all of us. At a time when there are so many constraints in medicine, this book wonderfully illustrates layers of understanding and examples for doctors and patients on the journey of building transformational relationships with each other and their loved ones." – Mark Abdelmalek, MD, ABC News Reporter and Medical Contributor, USA

    "Caring demands that we respond with compassion and competence, but always starts by noticing. Dr. Ko’s writing can help you get better at being aware of and improve your capacity to notice with your eyes, ears, minds, and hearts, to care. Read this book."  – Victor M. Montori, MD, Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic and co-founder, PatientRevolution.org, USA

    "Dr. Christine Ko, a clinician as well as a mother caring for a child with extra medical needs, takes us along on her own personal journey as she discovers what it means for doctors to communicate compassionately with patients. Her book is sprinkled with humility and spiced with the surprising science of human interactions." – Randi Epstein, MD MPH, Author of Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything, USA

    "Dr. Christine Ko’s readable and useful guide to connecting with patients includes an appealing mix of personal anecdotes, ranging from raising a deaf child to practicing dermatology. She breaks down cognition, perception, and other psychological concepts clearly and provides exercises that will be useful to health care providers in all fields." – Anna Reisman, MD, Director of Yale Program for Humanities in Medicine, USA

    "Go with your analyzed gut reaction – this book gives insight into how doctors and patients can do this." – David Caruso, PhD, Senior Advisor to the Dean of Yale College and Co-author of the Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, USA

    "A tour de force – covers many key areas of clinical practice that doctors and nurses should be familiar with but sadly are not. It provides an introduction to dual process theory (the basics of how we make decisions) metacognition, metaperception, the critical role of emotions in medical care, communication, cognitive and affective bias, and other issues, as well as providing deep insights into the practice of medicine typically not covered in medical training. It is presented in an easy-to-read format with innovative practical tips." – Pat Croskerry MD, PhD author of The Cognitive Autopsy: A Root Cause Analysis of Medical Decision Making (2020)