Video Transcript: Treating Patients as Teammates

Calvin Chou, MD; Professor, UCSF School of Medicine

One of the things that really hassles providers is they hate to hear that, “Oh, by the way, I’ve got chest pain” at the very end of the interview.

Patient: I’m glad you’re here because I started having some uncomfortable feelings in my stomach a little while ago.

Physician: hmmm in your stomach?

Patient: Yes.

Physician: So, it sounds important that we talk about your stomach a little bit.

Patient: Yes, I would like that.

Physician: Before we do that, other than your stomach, are there other topics that you’d like to raise with me today?

Patient: Well, last night I was thinking that maybe I could go home today. But now I’m not so sure.

Physician: Okay, so maybe the stomach symptoms affecting your discharge planning — that’s a concern of yours?

Patient: That’s right.

Physician: Okay, other than the stomach and the discharge, are there other questions you would like to, other topics that you would like to [discuss]?

And, then, the final thing there, in the very beginning, is to set the agenda for the visit. And that is to say, “So, these are the things that you want to talk about; I want to talk about these things.”

Physician: So, sounds like we’ll need to talk more about the stomach, and then how it’s going to affect your discharge. I’d like to look at your leg in a little bit as well, to see how that is progressing. And then, in the 10 or 15 minutes that I’ll be in your room right now, I’m going to be doing a physical exam, asking you more questions, maybe talking about the lab tests that we talked about this morning, and we’ll develop a plan for today. How does that sound?

So, by doing the elicitation all up front, then that makes them more efficient — and that’s a good thing.