The centuries old bond of trust existing between patient and medical provider has been indispensable in allowing frank and protected dialogue between the two.
The basis for correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment is the patient history. This is the “story” detailing all relevant aspects of the patient’s condition, or illness, and is derived by question and answer. It is the most important part of the entire process of what we have been trained to do, and when performed accurately most likely results in the best outcome.
The interview, “ history taking”, getting the”story”, is like any other undertaking used to derive the pertinent facts and information possessed by others.
For the process to be most effective and time efficient, it is best to allow the medical provider to lead the interview, and most importantly answer the questions posed succinctly and to the best of one’s ability. The answers will generate more questions, and when finally completed, the best interpretation and understanding.
Remember, Medical care providers do not know the answer to their questions, and rely on the patient’s best attempt to answer the specific question posed. Attempting to over interpret, give reason, diagnose, or try to answer the presumed next question, is always to be avoided since it is both unnecessary and counter productive.
Experienced Medical care providers upon hearing the answers to the questions will immediately have additional questions they need to ask. So allow them to function without interruption. Trying to “help”medical providers is human, but we should not need it. And, if we do, chances are you will be unable to provide it. It is our responsibility, not yours.
This overall understanding serves many good purposes, including an appreciation of the endeavor professionals have in making the correct diagnosis, especially given the limited time they are allotted in our hectic health care delivery system.
This all for one and one for all attitude makes achieving the best medical care possible. Exactly what we all want!