If you watch an episode of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” or “Bill Nye Saves the World”, one can see how he successfully teaches many people (including kids) the fundamentals of science. He does so in a way that offers great insights into how medical professionals can effectively communicate with their patients. As we’ll explore below, he uses 4 key techniques that help him do so:
- He clearly explains the concept at hand using simple terms.
- As Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” When Bill first explains something complex, he’ll break it down into simple terms. He’ll go in-depth on a topic like “vaccinations” but makes sure to start by clearly explaining viruses and antibodies. He knows that you can’t have a discussion on something unless the basics are first well understood.
- He uses analogies and visuals.
- Bill Nye may be the analogy-master of the world. During his explanation of a concept, he’ll frequently use multiple analogies as well as various visuals to help engage the audience and ensure deeper comprehension on their end.
- He is open to discussion from different opinions.
- On each episode of his show “Bill Nye saves the world”, he holds a panel discussion with various experts where debate is encouraged for that day’s topic. By doing so, he’s demonstrating the importance of looking at things through a different lens and keeping an open-mind on differing opinions.
- He integrates the available information to make a conclusion.
- Coming full-circle, he’ll explain what we now know and what still remains up-in-the-air. He’ll integrate all this information with available evidence and come to a conclusion on the topic.
So, how can medical professionals benefit from his example? When explaining a diagnosis or treatment to a patient they can start by breaking down the subject into simple terms, using analogies and visuals as aides. They can discuss their opinion on the matter, the patient’s opinion, as well as that of other medical professionals. Then together they can come to a mutual conclusion/understanding that has been effectively communicated and unbiasedly led to.
Written by Dr. Brandon Buchla, DC, CSCS
Check us out at www.atpplusct.com
1 thought on “What Bill Nye Can Teach Medical Professionals”
Dr. Brandon. I love this approach. Seems so simple. It takes willingness on the part of the Dr to slow down and make sure a patient is absorbing the information. That is why it’s also good to have an advocate accompany us. Diagnoses can be scary and, at the very least, overwhelming because we are talking to a doctor who is traditionally thought to be way smarter than we are and to know so much more than we do. So, the brain can shut down as soon as the doctor starts talking. We figure we’re not going to understand what they say anyway and they will do what’s best. A world of trust earned by the medical degree along. Thank you for opening up to the possibility of an improved physician approach. Would that this would permeate all those who are there to help us be well and to not leave us simply vulnerable to a world of unfamiliar and, perhaps, scary jargon. We all want doctors to earn our trust and not have it be a foregone conclusion. It can be as simple as, “Let’s talk about this and I will help you understand what we can do together. Your thoughts matter to me.”
Thank you so much.
Mary Lou Barber, Arbonne Independent Consultant