Lack of time for the doctors is probably the biggest reason here, especially if the physician is part of an HMO group whereby they are seeing 25-50 patients a day to keep the doors open, as some contracts are pretty lean when it comes to reimbursements these days, ask any family practice doctor in California for a quick example. Only about 1/3 of the physicians wrote down the instructions for patients.
There is something you can do as a patient, take notes and ask a question if you do not understand. Something that I have done, and yes people have chucked over this one, is that I reverse the technology roles. We all hear talk about physicians using Tablet PCs, but hey it works for the patient too. I open up my Tablet PC and start writing down what the doctor tells me, so I have my notes too. What’s good for the doctor is also good for the patient, especially when it comes to important treatment plans and you don’t want to forget what instructions you were given, so if you own a Tablet PC, take it with you on your next visit and take some notes. BD
Have you ever been whisked through a doctor's visit, and afterward were unable to remember what the doctor said? A University of Rochester Medical Center study disclosed that doctors don't often take the steps necessary to help patients recall medical instructions. The study, published online in this month's Journal of General Internal Medicine, investigated how frequently physicians repeat themselves, write down information, summarize instructions or take other steps to help patients remember the doctor's advice. The results suggest that doctors do not use these tools effectively or consistently. In fact, not one of the 49 doctors who took part in the study summarized their treatment recommendations.