Time Management in the Consultation: for GPs who run late in clinic (How to consult efficiently Book 1)
This book is the first ever to have been written about time management within the consultation. The author, an experienced family doctor, medical educationalist and self-help coach, has written previous books challenging the traditional framework within which GPs work. In this book he goes on to analyse how and when GPs run behind time when seeing patients. Dr Mirza then explores whether the family physician is allowed to do anything about this, given the stress it causes to the doctor.
At a time of high rates of physician burnout and recruitment crises for general practice in the UK, the author makes the case that more balance needs to be achieved between patients’ wishes and doctors’ wellbeing. The paradigms within which GPs have hitherto been expected to operate have almost entirely been based around putting patients first, disregarding the capacity of the physician.
At the beginning he outlines two unique principles for personal improvement, that are sure to become popular in self-help literature: the Rule of Opposing Outcomes and the Rule of the Status Quo.
After setting this as the basis for this book, Dr Mirza then breaks down different approaches GPs can use to speed up their consultation times. He analyses the self sabotaging mindsets that many doctors have which inadvertently result in more work being directed to them. When discussing how to break out of these situations, useful examples of emails are provided that strike a balance between diplomacy and assertiveness.
A pivotal technique advocated here is the analysis of quantitative data about one’s timekeeping. This includes measuring individual consultation duration and also quantifying when and by how much an individual doctor falls behind when consulting. Another key skill emphasised is typing whilst consulting. Here the author uses his natural academic style to dissect what happens within the mind of the doctor as he types and talks.
Within these pages various approaches are suggested to connect with the patient efficiently: through more focused communication at certain points in the ‘consultation saga’; through sharing with the patient the stress felt when running behind; and through the development of boundaries, reinforced by a team approach.
In summary this is a groundbreaking self help guide for family doctors which will help develop resilience in a profession in dire need of such support.
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