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7-Minutes Aren’t Enough

Daniel Paull MD asks how we can listen to the patient in only 7 minutes, as the current healthcare system expects us to.

October 9, 2023

There is a saying in medicine, that they teach in medical school, “Listen to the patient, they will tell you the diagnosis.”

The idea is that getting more information from the patient will generally lead to a more accurate diagnosis.

Of course, there are bad historians ( a phrase we use in medicine when someone can not for the life of them answer any question that you ask, and instead only answer questions of their own making).

There are those who incorrectly google their symptoms.

But in general, listening to the patient is the best way to find out what’s wrong. Coupled with a good physical exam of course.

Listening to the patient requires time.

They need to tell their story.

Modern medicine in the US does not allow this.

 

 

Insurance companies have burdened medical practice with tremendous overhead (think billers, coders, prior auth, paperwork etc).

This has created high volume models that leverage physician extenders.

 

Insurance companies have burdened medical practice with tremendous overhead (think billers, coders, prior auth, paperwork etc). This has created high volume models that leverage physician extenders. Click To Tweet

 

Go back 60 years or so and the doctor would actually spend time with you.

That rarely happens today. 7 minute face-time visits abound (the rest of the visit is for “charting”).

Patients frequently go un-listened to.

If you think that this is practicing good medicine, you are kidding yourself.

Take the best doctor in the world and give them a substandard amount of time to see a patient and they will do a substandard job as compared to what they would do if they had an adequate amount of time and were not rushed.

Solution?

Stop taking insurance, then can get rid of the high overhead high volume model, and doctors can actually start listening to patients again.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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