How Much Time Does A Patient Need to Tell a Doc Why She Is There?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    This study is interesting .....

    Patients Need Time to Tell Story to Doctor

    The race is on for time at the doctor's office. A new study shows most patients take less than two minutes to tell their "medical story" to their doctor. Previous studies in the United States show doctors typically take over the conversation after about 22 seconds. One possible explanation is that the doctor may think it will take too long for patients to tell their story.

    Doctors in Switzerland set out to determine if patients would go on and on about their medical histories or be succinct. Physicians used stopwatches to secretly time the patients and were instructed not to interrupt until the patient acknowledged they were ready for the doctor to jump in.

    The study included a total of 406 patients and on average, talking time was 92 seconds. Overall, 78 percent of patients stopped talking within two minutes. Only seven patients talked longer than five minutes. The researchers write, "In all cases, doctors felt that the patients were giving important information and should not be interrupted."

    In contrast to the 22 seconds American patients are given to talk, Swiss doctors say, "Even in a busy practice driven by time constraints and financial pressure, two minutes of listening should be possible and will be sufficient for nearly 80 percent of patients."




    SOURCE: British Medical Journal,325:682-683


  2. katykat24

    katykat24 New Member

    very interesting! thanks

    i'd be interested to know how much time people here would like to take for this situation
  3. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    I have a Dr. now that is always running later, you have to be patient and sit and wait......
    BUT,,,,,,he takes the time to listen, he reads anything you take to him. He really is serious about giving the best he can. Example: My first visit I spent 1 hr. and 25 minutes with him! Unheard of!

    Dr. before him always had to review my files and I would have to tell him everything like it was new for him. He was rushed and never prepared for me. So the large part of my short office call was introducing myself to him and my problems. I was just a "number". I feel that he was under pressure to do the visits quickly and see a certain amount of patients each day.

    I finally gave up and found a better Dr. My now Dr. comes in the door wanting to know how the meds are working for me, if it is helping this and that, etc. He knows me.

    One before that was what is your complaints? What meds do we have you on? Etc. Etc.
  4. atiledsner

    atiledsner New Member

    THAT THE FIRST MINUTE IS CRITICAL.I DIDN'T LEARN THIS IN A DOCTORS OFFICE, I LEARNED IT AT WORK.I HAD TO DEAL WITH THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY A LOT.IF I NEEDED TO TELL HER SOMETHING THE FIRST 10 SECONDS HAD TO HAVE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN THEM OR SHE WOULD'T LET YOU FINISH.IT WAS A CHALLENGE FOR ME EVERYTIME I HAD TO DEAL WITH HER.IT TAUGHT ME A LESSON ....IF IT'S IMPORTANT GET RIGHT TO THE FACTS,BECAUSE THERE MAY NOT BE ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY.
    THIS IS OFF THE SUBJECT BUT I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I MADE YOUR POTATO SOUP RECIPE AND IT WAS SOOOOOO GOOD, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. DIANNE
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I'm so glad you liked the Potato Soup recipe!

    Hugs,
    Janet
  6. elsa

    elsa New Member

    I think this is one of the driving forces behind doctors leaving managed care contracts and going it alone, ie concierge practice.

    Patients have had enough with the time limit among other things and doctors who have struck out on the own, practicing like days of old couldn't do so without a patient base driving them forward demanding something better.

    I believe in my heart that the managed care idea was a good one. However, for many reasons, it has fallen short. Patients are not happy, the doctors aren't happy .... The insurance industry is pretty happy. One out of three in a huge picture won't cut it for long.

    Thanks for posting this .... you're right, I found it very interesting.

    Elsa
  7. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I always go ready for my doc appts by preparing a list of everything that I want to talk about, with the MOST IMPORTANT item being the FIRST on my list.

    I give my list to him the second he walks in. He has always had time to go over everything on my list, but just in case, I always want to talk about my most important item first!

    And ... I probably spend a lot more time talking than that study indicates!!! LOL

    Janet
  8. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    The findings of that study are really interesting! i too felt like at my last doc's office she never had that much time to completely answer my questions and she seemed too lack interest in what I was telling her about myself (for example, that I feel like something is really wrong with my health and that I have been sick for over 8 months and I had to drop out of school).

    My new nurse pract. is way more involved and interested in what I have to say. She listens closely to everything, and because of her different attitude and approach, I've been getting treatment!! And now I at least feel somewhat better physically and mentally (and I'm relieved because now I do not have to be the expert on my illness all the time- she is helping me).

    knahall: I'm sorry that your docs are disagreeing so much .... maybe they should be communicating with each other, and not arguing through you. would you feel comfortable signing a medical information form that lets them share information and discuss your treatment with each other? i've had that done and i appreciate it immensely- i don't have to repeat everything to each of them (my therapist, psychiatrist and NP). just a thought :)

    -ellikers
  9. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    bumping up
  10. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Doesn't it feel great when you find a doctor who takes an extra couple of minutes to listen to you?

    I have a great respect for these doctors, even if their suggested protocols are not helpful.

    Thanks for the post.

    Kholmes
  11. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I always make my appointment the first one in the morning. If we talk too long he's late for everyone else!!

    My doc is really good about letting me vent. I do take a list if I have new things or things that are bothering me to talk to him about. I've timed him and he spends an average of 20 minutes with me each visit.

    I am blessed!!

    Hugzz
    Greenbean