Adding to the already extensive list of guides to achieving a satisfying visit to the doctor, New York Times contributor Dr. Danielle Ofri offers a very comprehensive and useful contribution. “As a doctor,” Ofri writes, “I often get asked by friends and family how to make the most of the medical visit. Here’s my advice, and it’s basically the same whether you are the patient, or a family member or a caregiver of the patient.” Ofri goes through each step of the doctor-patient encounter, from choosing whom to see, previsit preparation, list making, gathering of background material, the encounter itself, to follow up issues. She cautions that “the number of items that your doctor must attend to do during a visit has skyrocketed in the last decade. The advent of the electronic medical record has changed the nature of the doctor-patient interaction immensely, and most doctors have no choice but to type during your visit. If your doctor looks like someone in a 1950s secretarial pool, typing nonstop, welcome to 21st century medicine. Multitasking is not an excuse for poor communication, however, or a feeling of rushing through the visit. You can be aware of and even a bit forgiving of the bureaucratic labyrinth that your doctor has to deal with, but your doctor should make time for direct, face-to-face communication. That is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment.”
Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center
Helping family caregivers care for their loved ones and themselves.