Episode 3: How much time do I have, doctor?

Fictional accounts of medical encounters often feature the conversation when a patient asks their doctor to predict the outcome of their disease. Doctors in real life have to answer these questions, too, but without the benefit of a pre-written script. Thinking about prognostication means trying to answer difficult questions, but more importantly trying to get to the heart of what the patient may really be wondering. It’s about trying to connect with the heart of what patients need in times of uncertainty about their health. It’s also about understanding how these conversations affect us doctors as people who struggle with some of the same questions ourselves. In this episode, Susan, a palliative care doctor, Edie, a rabbi and chaplain who works with the palliative care team, and Meg, a geriatrics and palliative care physician speak to us about the struggles and honors that come with the job of prognostication.

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