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  • 1. Back to HomepageDate: October 6, 2010To: Julian Gomez, Clinic ManagerFrom: Mariam Ekizyan, Administrative AssistantSubject: Summary of “Effective Communication Skills”As requested, here is a summary of an article by Debra White of the Ophthalmology Times. In the article,“Effective Communication Skills Make Life Simpler” (March 16, 2008), White writes about the importanceof some tactics that can be applied to make communication between doctors and patients smooth andeffective. Those strategies include the following:  Good manners. Being courteous while communicating indicates doctors’ professionalism and builds their credibility.  Active listening. This skill involves doctors’ understanding, patience, and entire attention. A good listener must never interrupt the patient, should concentrate on non-verbal and spoken cues, and should define meaning with an objective attitude.  Clear and strong message. White advises asking questions to clarify any misunderstanding that can lead to incorrect conclusions. When doctors explain the terminology, they should use everyday language and include any details that can benefit the patients.Secondly, White discusses the role of non-verbal cues in communication. Non-verbal signs, seen or heardduring communication, can add to words, yet they can divert patients’ attention as well. These signs candistort patients’ perception; thus, White suggests doctors pay close attention to, and control their appearanceand body language in order to create a good impression and to maintain a professional attitude. Also, patients’non-verbal signs can be a key to understanding their emotions and to providing them the right assistance.Finally, White offers guidelines to handle breakdowns in communication. For any type of situation, doctors’duty is to make clients content with the service, so in case of problems, doctors should  Be professional and courteous, and try their best to assist the patients  Listen carefully to the client and use probing and confirmation questions to get complete information  Deliver more than they promised  Apologize, and thank clients for coming, if there is no solution found for a conflict  Avoid lying as it will lead to loss of trust and businessThank you for the opportunity to provide a summary of the article. If there are any questions, please contactme.