October 31, 2006

Second DISC Consultation, 05/10/06

I did not interview today but observed my colleagues as they conducted mock interviews.

General good points were that the students did not close silences too early, thus allowing the patient to speak freely. Also, they demonstrated good introductions: consent, confidentiality, assertion of status. Interviews were generally commenced with open questions, and closed questions used later on.

One negative point is that a student let the patient ‘run away’ with the conversation for a short while. The patient was a very friendly and talkative gentleman, thus meaning it was easier to strike up an effective rapport. This rapport is of crucial importance in eliciting information regarding a patient’s history, however, the rapport may become too friendly – at the cost of professionalism and time management – the doctor only has a short time to elicit all relevant information, and a patient may lose confidence in a doctor who appears very chatty and almost blazE. Therefore a balance must be struck between an efficient and professional inquiry and the friendly trust-building chit-chat.

The take-home message here is that the doctor should, whilst also allowing the patient to speak their mind, direct the patient towards relevant information and away from idle chit-chat.


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