Ask Your Doctor and You May Receive
The study published in the March 12 2007 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine may help explain how direct to consumer advertising may affect physician prescription writing, the topic as discussed in the last thread. But more than that it could explain, if confirmed by further study, the mechanism by which the costs of medical care may be rising through the physicians’ response to the public’s medical consumerism.
As summarized by the physician’s medical news publication “First Watch”,
“ Researchers interviewed patients in waiting rooms just before their visits; those expressing a wish for a new drug, test, or referral were invited to participate by having their visit audiotaped. In 200 such clinical encounters, some 250 expectations were communicated and 67% were met. Expectations for drugs and tests were met more frequently (both about three-quarters of the time) than were referral requests (just over a third of the time).
Physicians, when asked on a post-visit questionnaire to report requests their patients had made, said that, had the patients not asked, they would not have fulfilled almost half of the 138 requests so reported. They said they felt ‘uncomfortable’ about fulfilling 8 of the requests.
The authors comment that the unmet expectations did not seem to negatively affect patients' satisfaction or trust.”
I would ask my visitors if they have had any experience asking their physicians for specific drugs, specific tests or specific referrals and whether their requests were met. ..Maurice.