EM Talk: Difficult ED Conversations

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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The practice of emergency medicine (EM) physicians routinely involves caring for patients during times of acute, life-threatening medical crises. Many EM physicians are reluctant to have discussions with patients and their families about treatment options in these moments because of their perception that they do not have the skills or time to engage in these difficult conversations. Not surprisingly, few EM physicians have had formal training in so-called “goals of care” discussions, in which patient values are explored and then matched to an appropriate medical plan. As a result, there is growing concern that some patients are receiving invasive medical care that is both burdensome and inconsistent with their goals and values, particularly at the end of life. 

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