Communicating against the current
Communicating with patients who speak different languages in health care environments is a well-known challenge, for which there are myriad solutions to provide increased access for patients with low proficiency in the language of care. Clinicians often overlook communication challenges with patients for whom language is not a barrier, but mismatches in cultural and personal communication styles can lead to poor communication between doctor and patient that can negatively affect the clinical relationship and patient care. Just as patients who require interpreters require more time, clinicians must expect to spend more time to navigate different communication styles. Physicians should have a high index of suspicion for communication challenges, and hospitals and clinics must provide flexible clinic environments that allow clinicians the time required to overcome them.