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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2020 ) > List of Articles

COMMENTARY

Communication Skills: The Lifeline of Health Care

Dhastagir Sultan Sheriff

Keywords : Communication skills, COVID-19, Social media

Citation Information : Sheriff DS. Communication Skills: The Lifeline of Health Care. 2020; 9 (2):56-59.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10085-8128

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 00-12-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

The word infodemic is a blending of two words information and pandemic. Modern information technologies have mixed facts with fear, speculation, and rumor that has caught the world with information overflow. Medicine is an art and science. Uncertainty is one of the key principles of medicine. “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability” mused William Osler. The information collected from available data from world regulatory bodies of public health reflects the nature and importance of uncertainty with newer facts emerging from more studies regarding the virus and the disease. The indirect gesture of a leader not wearing a face mask projected by social media negatively influences ordinary people to decide whether to wear a mask or not. The 100-day agenda of President-elect Joe Biden of the USA mandates that every citizen wear a face mask after millions of US citizens were infected by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Social media have a more social responsibility to relay true information regarding the wearing of face masks. The process of communication regarding the pandemic like any other research question must go through tests of veracity, validation, and reliability. As health issues have become a global phenomenon, social media need to have a physician-scientist to verify the information to be relayed. It will be more effective if that information is communicated by a physician forming the media team, say a TV channel. The art of communication skills relating to pandemics needs to be taught and trained to disseminate facts by social media.


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