A minute to chat can make all the difference

Dr Lee Pasalic
Dr Leo Pasalic reflects on the importance of listening to patients as well as talking.

In this week’s Humans of the Hospital, Dr Leo Pasalic from Westmead Hospital and NSW Health Pathology Westmead has shared his thoughts on the importance of adding a human touch to interactions with patients.

Dr Pasalic has spent his entire medical career at Westmead Hospital, starting as an intern in 2005. He currently works as a staff specialist in clinical and laboratory haematology.

He says that listening is just as important as talking to the patient about their condition.

“In a busy clinic it’s so easy to focus on providing a patient with a diagnosis and treatment plan, but sometimes our patients appreciate just an extra minute of our time to talk about something that might be unrelated to their condition, and it’s important to them,” Dr Pasalic said.

“As doctors we provide our patients complex information and end up talking a lot, but listening is just as important. This is a skill I’m still trying to perfect.

“I really enjoy creating a meaningful connection with a patient. I’m so humbled by the trust and confidence patients put into doctors and nurses. They let us into their lives at some of their most vulnerable moments. They trust us with their wellbeing and their life.

“Whilst I greatly enjoy the intellectual thrill of reaching a correct diagnosis and applying the latest scientific research in the care of my patients, being a physician haematologist is so much more than that.” 

To view more Humans of the Hospital posts visit Western Sydney Local Health District’s Facebook page or follow us on Instagram @HumansoftheHospital.

Dr Leo Pasalic
Dr Leo Pasalic