Have you ever sat in the exam room with a patient and felt like the exam had gotten away from you?
For example, let’s say the patient took over the exam with stories, anecdotes, and blind alleys.
Before you know it, 45 minutes have passed, and there’s a lobby full of angst-filled staff and patients waiting on you—the doctor, who is running behind again.
These things happen—they always will.
Part of being an amazing, respected doctor is that we must listen, care for, and take time with our patients.
Previously from Dr. Denton: 6 steps to open a practice
Sometimes you’re going to be ahead, and sometimes you will be behind. This doesn’t mean a plan can’t be formulated to help keep you on track while performing an exam.
We all have an exam flow—I think of mine as an essay from English 101.
Blame it on years of schooling and a liberal arts background, but I think that every story needs an introduction, body, and conclusion.
My exam structure helps me keep things going. When I think the exam has spun out of control, I can revert back to my natural flow to keep it moving.