Skip to main content
Commentary

Presenting complaint: use of language that disempowers patients.

Cox C, Fritz Z. BMJ. 2022;377:e066720.

Save
Print
May 11, 2022

Cox C, Fritz Z. BMJ. 2022;377:e066720.

As more patients are gaining access to their electronic health records, including clinician notes, the language clinicians use can shape how patients feel about their health and healthcare provider. This commentary describes how some words and phrases routinely used in provider notes, such as “deny” or “non-compliant”, may inadvertently build distrust with the patient. The authors recommend medical students and providers reconsider their language to establish more trusting relationships with their patients.