The recent discussion of the appropriateness of bringing patients back to the office has really gotten me thinking about my overall philosophy of practice. What are the rules that govern my time in the office with patients? What determines when I see people, what I order, and what I prescribe? What constitutes “good care” in my practice?
So I decided to make some rules that guide what I think a doctor should be doing in the exam room with the patient. They are as much for my patients as they are for me, but I believe that thinking this out will give clarity in the process.
Rule 1: It’s the Patient’s Visit
The visit is for the patient’s health, not the doctor’s income or ego. This means three things:
- All medical decisions should be made for what is in their interest, including: when they should come in, what medications they are given, what tests are ordered, and what consults are made.
- Patients who request things that are harmful to themselves should be denied. People who ask for addictive drugs or unnecessary tests should not get them. Patients who are doing harmful things to themselves should be warned, but only in a way that is helpful, not judgmental.
- All tests done on the patient should be reported to them in a way that they can understand.
Rule 2: Minimize
Many doctors and patients have a “more is better” mentality. This not only costs more money to the system, but it can cause harm to the patient. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*