Things they didn’t teach in medical school: Part 30 Continuing the conversation after the consultation

One of the things they didn’t teach in medical school is how to continue to the conversation of the consultation after the actual physical consultation is over. Supposedly shared decision making leads to better decision satisfaction and outcomes but what happens once the patient leave the consulting room.

In some cases they leave with a pile of printed information. They may have taken their own notes. Or a carer may have taken the notes and been the second pair of ears. But I know the wrong messages may have been taken away or there will be lots of questions.

One way to deal with the problem is to ensure that the patients have had an opportunity to ask the questions in the first place – question prompt lists can help with this.

Another potential way is to provide a record of the consultation. This can be a written summary or alternately it can be an audio record of the consult. Some doctors are set up to do this but these days it most commonly happens when patients ask me if they can record the conversation and then they use their mobile phone.

An alternate potentially useful method is to develop your own resources to refer the patients to. I’ve just started, albeit extraordinarily slowly due to time commitments, to develop videos using the Explain Everything platform. Hopefully my patients will find these useful both for innformation about their treatment and to inform decisions.

Here is my talk on Xeloda Side Effects

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