by David Rothwell, MD
The more time you spend with your physician, the better your health outcomes.
Why? Because you have your health needs addressed completely and cared for.
So why is this even a problem? In a word…time. The average primary care office visit is roughly 7-8 minutes. About enough time for 1-2 problems to be addressed, assuming the problems aren’t chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, or other more complex symptoms.
It’s fair to ask your questions, and when making your appointment be sure to notify the scheduler of the basic issues for which you’re making your appointment. Get everything out on the table and hope that your provider will address these problems. I have personally found that by spending up to 45 minutes with a patient not only helps them tremendously (always #1 concern) but greatly reduces work for me and my staff downstream. How? The patient has had his/her needs met during the office visit and doesn’t feel the need to continue calling for other issues that were not addressed.
Some great info here to back this up:
Have your list ready. Come prepared and work with your provider to meet your health needs and concerns. I do also strongly recommend to patients that they avoid self diagnosing themselves via information gleaned from the Internet. If I had a dollar for every catastrophic diagnosis a patient had made for themselves over the Internet, only to learn that it was nothing major at all.
In this rapidly changing environment of health care and physician access, it remains paramount that patients feel that their needs are being met. Considering what they are paying for, health care alone should mandate excellent access and quality.
Good luck with that next office visit and have your list ready!
David Rothwell, M.D.
6307 Waterford Blvd, Ste. 127
Oklahoma City, OK 73118