Breaking Bad and not Ignoring Good News: Crucial Aspects of Communication in Medicine

Historically, medical education has focused mainly on technical proficiency, leaving medical professionals unprepared for the communication complexity and emotional intensity of breaking bad news. This daunting task requires an immense amount of delicacy, professionalism, patience, and emotional energy. It is estimated that over the course of their career, a doctor will hold conversations with around 200,000 patients and their relatives that invariably involve delivering good or bad news. Therefore, communication skills are a very important asset for a practising doctor – studies have shown that they can affect the patient’s satisfaction levels, compliance with treatment and, subsequently, their outcomes. Dr Jalid Sehouli experiences situations in which conversations take on a life-or-death significance daily, as he specializes in gynaecological oncology. Sharing from his wide-ranging professional experience, he will describe the emotions and perspectives of those who have to give and receive bad news and pass forward advice on how to give bad news well.

About our speaker

Jalid Sehouli

Director of the Clinic for Gynaecology with Centre for Oncological Surgery Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany

Professor Jalid Sehouli is Director of the Clinic for Gynaecology with Centre for Oncological Surgery at the Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, and Director of the Clinic for Gynaecology at the Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin. He is also the head of the European Competence Centre for Ovarian Cancer at Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum and the Interdisciplinary Gynaecological Cancer Centre at Charité Berlin. Since 2013, he has been a full professor with a W3 tenured professorship in gynaecology at the University Women’s Hospital at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

He is the author of more than 500 international publications in specialist journals and editor of numerous regular publications. He is also the founder of the German Ovarian Cancer Foundation, founder of the Facebook community “DIWA” and “Rosi”, the North-East German Society for Gynaecological Oncology (NOGGO), the European Artists’ Guild for Medicine and Culture, as well as a spokesperson for the organ commission of the AGO Ovarian Cancer. Internationally, he is particularly active as a faculty member of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology and as a delegate to ENGAGE, ENGOT, PARSGO and GCIG.