Comms Lab: Referral Pushback

Comms Lab: Episode 39

Dealing With Referral Pushback: 5 Simple Strategies

As clinicians, we engage in negotiation every day – with our patients and with our colleagues.

Phone referrals, Consults, Admission Handoffs – whatever you want to call them – are one of the biggest communication challenges in medicine.

Referral pushback. It’s the bane of almost every hospital doctor’s working life, especially those who are early in their career, and especially those who have to make lots of referrals.

In this video, I share 5 tips for dealing with referral pushback, gleaned from the literature on conflict resolution, negotiation and my own experience.

Got feedback for me? Great! I’m always trying to make my videos better and more relevant. Let me know what you think in the comments section, or anonymously via jotform

0:00 – Pushback: for example..
0:48 – The Evidence
2:25 – 1. The Basic Assumption
3:18 – 2. Convert to F2F
4:28 – 3. Define the Disagreement
5:27 – 4. Gather (Don’t Give) Information
4:28 – 5. Try Empathy
5:27 – When it Doesn’t Work…


Further reading

More from the Comms Lab


Comms Lab

A path to highly effective communication skills

Hayden is an emergency physician at University Hospital Geelong and a senior lecturer at Deakin University, Geelong. He is somewhat obsessed with the science and art of effective communication, and in particular: difficult conversations. He believes that we can all get better at having difficult conversations, and that the process of learning to do so can be seriously fun.

Hayden is also an avid but terrible surfer, ad hoc gardener, and dad to two awesome kids. | LinkedIn |

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