Monday, 10 November 2014

Agenda For My Doctor? I Wish

On twitter today I was looking at the stream of tweets from the conference #AAMC14 and wondering how I could be reading about a talk by Dave DeBronkert and not be a cheerleader. Maybe it's jealousy.

He said that he sends his doctor an agenda prior to his visits, so that the Dr is informed well in advance of his issues and then they work through each other's agenda together in a sprit of give and take. The audience of doctors (on Twitter) seemed to like the idea and I do too. This sounds like the ideal format for a visit.  

The issue I have is that for most of us this won't happen, at least not with the doctors we have. My doctor has electronic records but so far no email communication, and in addition she only takes care of one health problem per visit. As Bernadette Keefe (@nxtstop) said "Yes and that is a problem. There's a wall because the MDs can't handle email or more contact due to time issues."

Mike McInnis (@DrMcInnisDIT) then tweeted "But the ideal agenda is set in ADVANCE, can't spring it on the MD at the office visit. No surprises. Some Drs. like James Legan MD actually provide a suggested form* so patients can indicate concerns, but this is rare from what I have seen and heard. Dr Legan actually goes through office notes on his computer with the screen turned so the patient can see and discuss.

I don't blame Dave for one of the doctors saying that he is data-driven and rational. It's perfectly true.  I'm just thin skinned enough to prickle at the doctor's assumption that the rest of us often don't recognize pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo when we see it. At least that statement gives the tweeting doctor the "reason that physicians should help curate good medical information for patients".

While I am letting my cranky self have a platform I also take issue with the whole idea that people googling to find doctors will "just see popular doctors." It's not popularity that rules the choice of a doctor, and a few bad reviews do not make people reject a doctor. Everyone knows there are unreasonable people who can never be satisfied and makes some allowance for a few negative comments.
                                      Dr seems a little 2 dimensional
I would imagine some of the main reasons certain practitioners are not chosen would be attitude, towards patients, lack of availability, rude staff or a dirty office.

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