EDITOR’S COMMENTARY: This was a randomized vignette study of two chart notes employing stigmatizing versus neutral language to describe the same hypothetical patient with sickle cell disease. The study looked at whether language in the chart biased residents and med students. They found that attitudes towards the patient in the stigmatizing note was more negative and subsequently this patient received less pain medicine. In sum, the authors make the argument that what we write is an important and overlooked pathway by which bias can be propagated from one clinician to another. This bias furthers healthcare inequality for the individual patient and entrenches healthcare disparities overall for those who are stigmatized.
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Steve D. - October 24, 2018 9:48 PM
I have quoted explicit language before during a case of extremely offensive remarks that required police to be called. Otherwise I agree about not quoting emotionally charged things, just specific quirky words patients may use to describe pain, etc. Just like when you are dealing with an upset patient, you should always try to remain professional and take the high road.