Blog | Monday, November 10, 2008

The view from Oz


Dr. Mehmet Oz-- the infamous author, Oprah guest and cardiologist, spoke to a packed audience today about how to get patients to listen to advice about lifestyle changes. Some tidbits he offered:

--Make health fun, or at least engaging. Don't tell patients that smoking is bad. Show them a picture of a diseased lung (and yes, that falls more into the "engaging" than "fun" category).
--Keep it simple, when you can. Rather than explaining BMI, tell your patient his waist size should be half his height in inches.
--Give 'em tips. Tell those who need to lose weight to eat a handful of nuts about 30 minutes before they eat a meal. It takes 30 minutes to lower ghrelin levels-- which should then curb the amount the patient eats at the meal. Emphasize the importance of sleep for all your patients, and advise those who don't sleep well to dim lights, wear loose clothing, get a good mattress, and reduce ambient noise.
--Make sure the educational materials you give patients are engaging. Dr. Oz's office made a video on health for patients to watch before and after their cath labs-- because what else are they going to do during that time?