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What Happen to Quality Face Time

I hate it when I go into my doctor’s office and we talk for a quick 5 minutes before she is off to the next patient. I have no time to ask any questions before I’m putting my clothes back on. I have a better relationship with the nurses than my own doctor.

This is the situation for many Americans- so why am I complaining? As long as I have a clean bill of health, right? Well unfortunately it is not that simple- more and more Americans are electing to have expensive procedures, use brand name drugs over generic or choose their own drug plan because they are not engaging in quality time with their doctor.

Simply they do not understand their choices. And this where shared decision making comes into play- if I had known some of the harms and side affects of Gardasil from my doctor, maybe I would have chosen to not have the vaccine.

There are countless health stories out every week about this issue. At the end of September the Associated Press had an article on how more elderly are choosing name brand drugs over generic although their chemical make up is the same- costing the government more in Medicare spending. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080925/ap_on_he_me/medicare_generic_drugs)

The New York times had an article on Friday on how a liver transplant patient decided to end her anti-rejection medications which lead to her death- maybe if a doctor had time to talk and understand her issues, one life could have been spared. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/health/10chen.html?ref=health)

If doctors had more time to explain complicated procedures and why drugs are needed for recovery, possibly we can start to reverse this downward spiral of American healthcare


Great thoughts, I think that the NY Times article is a great piece to complement your point. It is a little extreme but very telling. It makes you wonder why a patient that is dealing with these issues of being chronically ill after a transplant doesn't voice those concerns. Obviously none of us can put ourselves in that position, but I personally can't imagine making that kind of decision without talking to my doctor. I think the particularly interesting part is that she has a good relationship with her doctor vis-a-vis those late night chats. It appears that a good relationship may not be enough to overcome what seems to be a big disconnect between patients and the medical profession.