Wednesday, May 09, 2007

12 Seconds

Kevin Drum points to an article about doctor fallibility, containing this gem:
On average, a doctor interrupts a patient who is describing her symptoms within about twelve seconds. By then, many doctors have decided upon a diagnosis and treatment.
Amen. Whenever I go to the doctor, I have the feeling that their number one concern is how to get me out of there as fast as possible. This, after I've usually had to sit on that stupid table with the paper sheet for about 20 minutes, waiting for the doc to come in.

The whole article is pretty good, if a little depressing.


Otto Man said...

Sounds about right. I actually switched doctors last year because I got the feeling the old one didn't listen at all.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

I'm just glad this post wasn't some crack about my love life.

Thrillhous said...


S.W. Anderson said...

Here's some inside info. If you feel at all intimidated by your doctor, PA or whatever, rehearse what you have to say before you go. If necessary, write it down, hand it to him/her and insist they read it.

If the care giver interrupts, assert yourself. These people are busy, multitasking much of the time. They do have a lot on their mind. They do get in too much of a hurry and can jump to conclusions, sometimes dangerously.

Waiting room nurses and aides will tell you one of their job routines is to help patients coming out of the doc's office by interpreting or filling in things the doctor said or should've said.

Also keep in mind that some good care givers are less-than-stellar communicators, and some good communicators are so-so caregivers.

So, always rehearse what you have to say, assert yourself in getting it said to the doc and do not leave without having reasonable questions answered. You're paying dearly for those few precious moments and deserve to have the care giver's full attention throughout them, unless the person is called away to an emergency.

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