Doctor's near-death experience inspires campaign to improve doctors' patient communication skills

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A doctor's personal near-death experience has sparked a new campaign to improve patient communication skills and encourage greater empathy among healthcare professionals. 

In 2008, Dr. Rana Awdish nearly died after an occult adenoma in her liver ruptured, leading to multisystem organ failure and the death of the infant she was carrying. Her recovery included five major surgeries and multiple hospitalisations.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Awdish says she experienced a casual indifference among healthcare staff while hospitalised. “I was privy to failures that I’d been blind to as a clinician,” she says. “There were disturbing deficits in communication, dis-coordinated care, occa...