Researchers have published a study on how clinicians treat their patients during initial consultations. Ohio residents who feel like their doctor is always rushing them during their visits will find out that they are not alone. As part of the study, researchers from the University of Florida analyzed 112 videotaped consultations between patients and their medical practitioners that occurred from 2008 to 2015. These were recorded at clinics from across the U.S. In 36 percent of these consultations, doctors invited patients to set the agenda with a simple question like, “What can I do for you?”
However, patients were interrupted an average of 11 seconds into their explanations (those who were not interrupted finished after six seconds on average). Interruptions, when respectful, can help patients focus and clarify the points they are trying to make, but this is hardly possible if the conversation has just begun.
Researchers therefore concluded that time constraints, insufficient training on communicating with patients and even burnout may be factors in this trend. They noted that primary care doctors give more time than specialists, the reason being that specialists usually know the purpose of a visit. Their study ended on a note of concern that physician care is not as patient-centered as it should be.
The fact is that a doctor may engage in wrongful conduct from the very beginning of their relationship with their patient. Carelessness at the initial consultation can eventually lead to carelessness in the ordering of tests, the diagnosis of a condition or the prescribing of drugs. A victim of malpractice will want a lawyer on their case so that they can persuasively show how one mistake led to another. They can leave it to their lawyer to negotiate for the settlement as well.