Saturday, October 6, 2012

Doctor communication skills

Doctors need to focus on their bedside manner and also their communication skills. How hard is it to get hold of your doctor when you need to talk to them? This is important. I realize doctors are busy and they often call patients back after hours, long after dinner time.

A few weeks ago, I met with Dr P to discuss potential new ailments. I liked her and thought she was on the right track. I left all kinds of samples - urine, blood, xrays. Dr P said I should set up an appointment with her in 3 weeks that we could cancel it if everything came back negative. Then I would see her in six months and go from there. She said in the interim she would call me with test results.

A week after my appointment I called her office to find out about the 3 week follow up appointment. She is very busy so her secretary was trying to fit me in. Finally we left it that she would call me with the results and decide then if I needed to come in that soon. She was waiting to talk to the radiologist about my x-rays and hasn't been able to make contact with the radiologist.

Yesterday was yet another week so I called her office. Her secretary, who is very nice, said she would leave her another note. The secretary called back yesterday afternoon in the five minute interval when I was outside. She left a message that they were going to schedule an ultrasound and maybe an MRI as well even though the doctor hadn't made contact with the radiologist yet but with my test results that was the logical next step.

I said to myself 'what test results?' because I didn't have them yet. I called her back and said I had never gotten any test results. The secretary was surprised and gave me my results which are good and bad (meaning inconclusive) but the doctor still wants to talk to the bone radiologist...

The latest assurance I have is that they have scheduled an ultrasound for me in November which may or may not be cancelled and may or may not be followed up by an MRI. The doctor will call me probably Tuesday or Wednesday with results and a plan. I'm not holding my breath. She is a nice doctor and seemed very good but very hard to get on the phone!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is precisely why I request an email address from my doctors, then I have at least the knowledge the email was sent....and I don't have to play phone tag and they can answer me at their convenience..