Unfortunately, according to the Washington Post, overweight women are less likely to show up to receive cancer screening care - pap smears and mammograms - possibly due to the effect of physicians' negative attitudes towards obese patients. Doubly unfortunate in that women who are overweight are at higher risk for breast cancer and cervical cancer.
Internist Dr. Keith Bachman shares some advice with the WP regarding how to better communicate with obese patients without touching the grand nerve:
"...physicians can put obese patients at ease by asking them if they want to discuss their weight before initiating a conversation, and focusing on concrete behavioral changes -- such as walking four times a week instead of twice -- rather than on weight goals.
"Just acknowledging that weight loss is difficult can go a long way with patients -- and acknowledging that they've tried many, many times before," Bachman said.
If you are a physician just realizing that you may be hating fat people against your conscious will, thanks to Dr. Bachman and his collaborator Dr. Rebecca Puhl, you can now go here and train yourself not to be biased against the weighty.
Keith Bachman is board certified in Internal Medicine and practices in Portland, Oregon.