Doctors Might Not Be the Best Listeners

Have you ever felt rushed or cut off in conversation by your doctor?

Doctors only spend 11 seconds on average listening to patients before interrupting them, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. This could lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation (of symptoms).

Before a patient can even be interrupted, the doctor must first ask a question such as, “What seems to be the problem?”, which only occurred 36% of the time. The patients interrupted might be better off than those who were never even asked. The results of the study also show that only one in three doctors give patients the chance to describe what is ailing them before the visit is completed and treatment decided.

One of the doctors who led the research wants to do more studies in the area – to know why doctors are not engaging fully with patients since communication is emphasized in medical school. “Our results suggest that we are far from achieving patient-centered care,” she says.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or 1-888-229-5094 for your free consultation.