You may have heard your computer revving high, consuming RAM while it is working on some tasks in the background while you answer your e-mails or surf the net. A similar process occupies a large part of your doctor’s brain while the two of you are conversing.
That’s why at some point – sometimes it may seem too early in your meeting – your doctor will start interrupting you with focused questioning in our typical clinical style.
These are the diagnostic questions we learned well in medical school and refined through countless patient encounters. At this moment, the doctor is consumed by the hunt to get to the diagnosis as quickly as possible.
We can be thrown off the scent by the interruption of multiple unrelated problems you might bring up. Our hard drives may freeze up like your computer when you open too many windows.
To prevent this brain freeze or to keep your doctor on task – your task, it may be helpful for both patient and doctor to be upfront in setting the agenda and approach to each visit up front, right at the beginning of the appointment. Let’s have more transparency.
Next: understanding the structure of every medical visit.
Do you have some suggestions for how patients and doctors communicate? Please leave your comments here.
Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician. His Healthwise column appears regularly in the Burnaby Now, Vancouver Courier, Coquitlam Now and Royal City Record. You can find his Positive Potential Medicine podcasts at wgrnradio.com.