I would like if I could be that gentle all the time.....
In dealing with the severely ill, like I do in advanced diabetics, you have to be VERY forceful with them.
I think overall though, medicine has become very sensitive to the whole "my doctor pushes pills, orders me around, acts like such a know it all" thing....so a lot of us just go with "Or not. Don't listen to me and get sick or eat cabbage every meal or rub a rabbit's foot. Your call buddy." In medicine, you learn one simple truth:
Facts and science do not matter to a lot of people. Period, end of story. They are simply going to imagine whatever reality they desire is the truth....trying to overcome decades of pseudoscience and wishful thinking won't happen in my ten minutes in front of me, so just let them do whatever they want. People are crazy, let me tell you
In my own work though, it has to go a little differently....
I tend to be very blunt, so my basic spiel is like this:
"Understand that when you go to a grocery store or restaurant, 95% of the things available to you are unnatural and disease causing. That is the reality....you can choose to do what everyone else does, and be sick, or you can listen to me about which 5% won't hasten your appointment with a casket. I cannot do it for you even when you do decide to listen, so almost all of this is on you. I am just an advisor on keeping you alive. If that is something you're interested in, I will tell you how to the best of my knowledge. After that, my part is done."
This kind of candid talk appeals to people, especially the mid-50's man that is my average patient.
"They now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry." - Thomas Jefferson, 1826