These are the thoughts of a cantankerous ol' gynecologist who remembers when things were a little different. I try to find a little humor in my life and the people I meet along the way. Come meet the characters in my world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Medical Office Quandaries #2

“Oh, by the way”

          On my way out the door after first talking to a patient, then doing an exam, then developing a treatment plan, there is sometimes a dreaded phrase.  “OH, BY THE WAY….”  Mind you, I think the office visit is complete.  I’m thinking about prescriptions and charting and a myriad of other things.  {Squeezing in a bathroom break, a quick lunch, maybe getting to the kids band concert this evening – you know!}

          Put on the brakes.  Stop everything.  Ms Wantsitall Patient has had my undivided attention and her appointment is over.  Now she has something else she needs to have taken care of. 

          Lots of times this is followed by something “simple” like

·        “it hurts when I have sex”

·        “I have trouble holding my urine”

·        “I forgot to have you look at this spot”

·        “I have a discharge”

          None of these problems can be solved with a quick answer.  All of them take a whole visit.  I have to explain this to this woman, who often gets upset.  She thinks she can get this problem solved now since she is here at the office.  She doesn’t want to pay for another visit. 

          I have to explain that she needed to tell me before she had her examination.  I might take a quick look at the spot if I have time and schedule her to come back for a biopsy or to see a dermatologist, but the rest of those are things that need special exams. 

          So, tell the receptionist everything you need to have checked.  Tell the person that puts you in the room everything that is bothering you.  Make a list if you need to.  Put the most important things on the top.  The doctor is only going to have time to deal with one or two of your problems.  You need to plan on making another visit if you have more issues.  Then your doctor won’t have more blood pressure or stomach problems. 

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