Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yes! Take notes at the doctor's office.

As a recently minted physician, I am often on the receiving end of the gripes and grouses about the medical profession. Often I get complaints of office visits that are too short, doctors who seem too preoccupied to hear their patients' complaints, medical bills that are too high and medications that do nothing but cause adverse effects. On the other hand, I can't count the number of times I have left the exam room, convinced I have gotten the most complete and accurate information from the patient only to be confronted by the attending on something I had 'missed'. Really?!?!? I just asked her that and she denied having chest pain one week ago! The truth is, patients are often intimidated and confused by the whole medical experience and in this state are even more likely to forget the details of their medical history, thus creating a less than ideal environment for optimizing health.  Something needs to be done to improve the doctor's visit, both for patients and for physicians.