Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott is talking with Anthony J. Orsini, author of It's All in the Delivery: Improving Healthcare Starting with a Single Conversation.
FQ: Do you use a fair dose of humor, as you did in your book, for speaking engagements regarding your method?
ORSINI: I always find that storytelling is a great tool for teaching. When you have practiced medicine for as many years as I have, there are many examples that I can draw from. The use of humor and my personal story further emphasize the points I am trying to express. Engaging the audience is very important during my presentations.
FQ: Do you see in the medical practitioner/facility/patient interaction the possible development of something akin to a physician-priest/preacher?
ORSINI: Good rapport and mutual trust are the keys to any successful relationship. Without trust, all communication breaks down, and without good communication, there can be no success.
FQ: Do you have any true stories of compassionate doctors from the pre-sci/tech era that could be used as examples of Orsini principles?
ORSINI: In my book, It’s All in the Delivery, I tell the story of Dr. Anthony Merk, who practiced for five decades and was never sued for malpractice. Dr. Merk wrote his entire patient chart on 5 x 9 cards. He is a great example of how medicine is less about technology and more about a human to human connection.
FQ: Would you recommend It’s All in the Delivery to those who work outside the medical profession but who might face similar person-to-person encounters in the workplace?
ORSINI: I wrote, It’s All in the Delivery, to help anyone who wants to learn how to communicate well. The principles of communication that I discuss not only apply to healthcare but to business leaders, salesman and frankly to anyone’s personal life. I have taught many of these principles to fortune 500 companies to teach their executives how to be effective leaders, how to create loyalty and, of course, how to have difficult conversations with their employees and staff. The principles I teach re-wire, if you will, the way we think of communication. They can be used every day.
FQ: Do you have plans for more writing of a similar nature, or will you now be turning to other forms of media for outreach regarding the Orsini Way?
ORSINI: I do a considerable amount of communication workshops and an occasional webinar. My focus right now is to do more keynote speaking engagements and training for both medical and non-medical people.
FQ: Could you envision a feature length film illustrating your own life experience and development of the Orsini Way (companion to the book)? Or a dramatic film depicting a typical over-stressed hospital environment or doctor/patient miscommunication in which the Orsini Way saves the day?
ORSINI: A film about a doctor who is fighting the system to keep communication and compassion above efficiency is an intriguing idea. The truth is that everyone learns how to communicate better; we can all benefit.
FQ: Is your career transitioning now from medical practice to training?
ORSINI: Right now, I am still a practicing physician, and I love what I do. Although I save premature lives every day, I feel that teaching compassionate communication is something that I am gravitating toward more and more. I truly think that by teaching the principles in my book, I can have an even bigger impact on medicine. Every doctor I train has an estimated 250,000 patient encounters before they retire. If you add up all of the nurses, therapists, and even business people that I have trained, the positive impact that I can have is staggering. I have something that is proven and works. I want to share it.