From the archives: Dr. Danielle Ofri on how to communicate with your health care provider

A doctor checks on a boy at a clinic.
Dr. Janice Bacon, a primary care physician with Central Mississippi Health Services, checks on Jeremiah Young, 11, a back-to-school physical, at the Community Health Care Center on the Tougaloo College campus, in Tougaloo, Miss., on Aug. 14, 2020. As a Black primary care physician, Bacon has created a safe space for her Black patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Medical technology has advanced exponentially. So why are patient-physician relationships stuck in the past?

That’s the question at the heart of Dr. Danielle Ofri's book, "What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear."

When MPR News host Kerri Miller talked with Ofri in 2017, she learned that patients don’t talk to their healthcare providers honestly because they don’t believe they’ll listen. Doctors, on the other hand, are afraid to ask too many questions, lest patients never stop talking.

It turns out, neither fear is completely true.

Check out this archive conversation for real talk about how to improve the status of patient-doctor relations. And then get ready for Friday’s episode of Big Books and Bold Ideas, when Miller talks with author Megan O’Rourke about her chronic illness and the difficult time she had getting the medical establishment to take her symptoms seriously.


  • Dr. Danielle Ofri is a primary-care internist in New York City, a clinical professor of medicine at NYU and an essayist and an author.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. 

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