We recently came across an article about 8-10 year olds who were asked to rewrite the patient brochure for a total hip replacement surgery. It sounds like a strange task to assign to a child, but researchers were interested in finding out what a vastly simplified version of an often-complicated handout might look like. Most of us have received a brochure or explanation that had a little too much medical jargon for comfort, and who better than kids to boil those complex explanations down to their core?

While you probably don’t need a 9-year-old’s explanation for your next procedure or test, the article raises an important point. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed of asking your doctor for a simpler explanation! If you get a handout or a verbal description of something from a medical professional that you don’t understand, you should absolutely ask them to simplify it. You’ll feel more confident in your treatment and you may even have a better outcome— after all, you’ll be more likely to follow critical instructions if you can understand them and their purpose.

NPR’s website has the rewritten brochure, and it’s worth a read— the kids’ work is both adorable and kind of brilliant!


The information posted on this blog and website are for general information only and should never be relied on as specific medical advice for an individual reader.  No financial relationship exists between us and any recommended products or persons mentioned. All material contained here is the property of the Sheldon Sowell Center for Health, PC, and cannot be copied, reprinted, or linked to without our express permission.

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