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Is Your Doc A Chatty Cathy?
If So, Better Make Sure He Didn’t ‘Doctor’ Those Medical Diplomas. Kidding! He’s Probably Just Licensed, But Incompetent

June 26th, 2007

Today’s NYT has what at first glance appears to be an insightful exposé about the medial impression. According to an article published yesterday in The Archives Of Internal Medecine, reports the Times, “many doctors waste patients??? time and lose their focus in office visits by interjecting irrelevant information about themselves.”

And while some, like a certain Dr. Richard Frankel, believe a few minutes of harmless chit-chat might help put the patients at ease, the studies actually proved the opposite to be true, revealing that those doctors who specialize in self-disclosure often fail to establish a rapport with their patients and often allowed the conversation to go off track indefinitely, thereby impeding the examination.

All of which sounds fairly surprising until we’re given a typical example of the aforementioned doctor-patient fraternization.

Dr. John K. Min, an internist at the Kernodle Clinic in Burlington, N.C., said he had always been circumspect when he talked to patients.

Then, however, he recalled a patient who came to see him five years ago for a physical exam. Dr. Min is avid about building furniture and the patient was skilled at furniture building. The patient spent 40 minutes with Dr. Min. When he left, Dr. Min looked at his notes.

???I realized that I didn???t even examine him,??? Dr. Min said. The man, he added, was gracious when Dr. Min called to apologize.

???He said, ???We???ll just wait for next time,??? ??? Dr. Min recalled.

Wait, so Dr. McMoron “examined” this patient for 45 minutes and it wasn’t until after the patient left that he realized they’d never once discussed the reason for his visit?

Yeah, sounds like it didn’t take an entire research study to prove that this guy’s not nearly as “circumspect” as he thinks he is…

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