By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
I was yapping to an esteemed, senior colleague a few weeks ago. We were talking about the practice of rheumatology.
Not so much about how science, medication and knowledge has changed. As that’s a given over time.
But more about how rheumatologists apply the art of medicine.
How do we think about and then execute the actual mechanics of a consultation with this other person in front of us, the person we label a patient.
We have many venerable colleagues with decades of experience but in the field of service delivery, some have not changed much over time. How it has always been done, is not necessarily how it should continue to be done.
He was different.
As we talked, it was obvious to me that he analysed the parts of his consultation, to over the years, improve his own efficiency but also to improve what his patients’ gained from that consultation.
I mean that he was deliberate in how he introduced himself, he was purposeful in how he structured the history taking, the examination of the patient and then the explanation of the problem. This was followed by a considered negotiation, a verbal “contract” as to how the problem would be tackled from then on.
I hope I can be as considered over the next 20 years of my rheumatology practice.
I’d rather improve with 20 years of experience rather than repeat a yearly experience 20-times over.Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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