48-second GP consultations

If I could change one thing about working clinically as a GP, it would be time pressure. I find seeing patients every 15 minutes a struggle, especially when instead of “catch up” slots there are “fit in” slots. I cannot imagine being able to feel good about my job if I only had a couple of minutes, or less, with patients. I know the environments and expectations are very different, but I’m not the high throughput type. I like taking my time… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF5gcEQVxL4

drjustincoleman

Less is less

A recent BMJ study highlighted the remarkable degree of international variation in how much time GPs spend with their patients.

In Pakistan, a patient with a laceration would barely have time to explain how it occurred, let alone have it sewn up.

Whereas in Scandinavia, by the time the consultation ends, the wound has already healed by secondary intention.

Of the 67 countries studied, Australia ranks pretty much where you would want it – our 15 minute slots put us in the top quarter. Generous enough for a country that can afford it, without being inefficient.

Half of the world’s population—predictably, the poorer half—spend less than five minutes with their primary care doctor.

A couple of minutes is all you get in Nepal or China, regardless of how long it took you to travel to the surgery in the first place. I suspect there’s not much chit chat about the…

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