Communicating With The Overworked Doctor


Doctors today are very, very busy people. They have told me that they have exactly 30 minutes for the first patient visit, and just 15minutes for continuing visits. That is really tough on both you and the doctor, who desires to be informed and do a great job.

We can help by putting down on paper our lists and questions that we need answered. I call this the Doctors Letter. Include a list of any serious changes you have noticed in the patient between visits. Put it all on paper and then fax it to the doctors office in advance of the visit. If you can’t get to a fax, have it typed up and hand it to the nurse before you see the doctor.

With this detailed information they know much more about the patient.  They are able to give you answers directly in the short amount of time that they do have. During your visit you can just bring up one or two items you really need addressed that day.

Another favor doctors have asked me to pass along has to do with relaying information to families and caregivers. A busy doctor would prefer to communicate directly with just the patients primary caregiver. Please don’t have every sibling demanding to be called and kept up to date just because the family is not speaking to each other. Instead, send out the doctors letter to every adult who desires to be informed.  Then follow up after the appointment with any changes the doctor has suggested. Communitcation between patient, caregiver, doctors and their family will be greatly enhanced with this one easy tool.

Categories : caregiver support

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