I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ronald Epstein, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Oncology at the University of Rochester, and author of "Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity" .
Dr. Epstein spends much of his time communicating bad news to people, and studying how that news is expressed and received. His research has illuminated striking disparities between patient's and physician's prognoses, and the high emotional toll end-of-life discussions can take on clinicians.
In our brief talk, we discussed whether hope can be a bad thing, what goes through his head just before he walks into a dying patient's room, and how physicians can go back to work after such an emotionally draining experience, among other topics.
Here's the full interview: