The One Thing You Should Do Before Visiting Your Doctor

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on January 3, 2019 · 0 comments

A recent study that observed patient/doctor interactions showed that patients get only 11 seconds to explain their reason for the visit before they are interrupted. Primary care doctors gave the patient more time than specialists and tended to interrupt less, but still only a third of patients were given the chance to provide the complete reason for their visit.

The researchers felt there were many barriers to effective patient/doctor communications—time constraints to see multiple patients, limited education about patient communication skills, physician burnout, and the demands of the electronic health record to input information mandated by the system.

What does this mean for you? Effective conversations between doctors and patients lays the foundation for the best patient-centered care. You can focus the conversation at your next doctor’s visit by having a succinct, clear statement as your opening response to, “How are you feeling?” or “Why are you here today?”

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