Delivering bad news is one part of a physician’s job. And a Florida neonatologist thinks he can help medical professionals improve their interactions with patients through improvisational role-playing.
Orlando neonatologist Dr. Anthony Orsini this summer launched the Orsini Way, using workshops with professional actors in improvised scenarios to teach healthcare professionals more-effective communication skills and to try to boost patient satisfaction. The sessions are videotaped and viewed by instructors, who then review it with the clients and analyze every verbal and nonverbal communication technique and tweak it to create a more compassionate delivery.
“My whole goal is to bring to the forefront that medicine is about forming trusting relationships,” Orsini said. “Doctors have less burnout if they have it. We must turn medicine back to a human connection.”
Healthcare has become too task-oriented, Orsini said. “They forget why they entered medicine in the first place,” he said. “By teaching these techniques, you are showing patients that they have a doctor who cares.”
Orsini began using improvisational role-playing 10 years ago and has trained more than 4,000 medical professionals in nearly every specialty. Originally, he used peers for the role-playing but never turned back once he recruited professional actors.
“Compassion is natural, but communication is not,” he said.