Doctors seem to be ordering more test than ever especially imaging studies, such as CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans. Why? Well, there are two reasons.
First, these type of studies gives accurate images of internal parts of our body for suspected diagnosis. Blood tests give a great deal of information about body functions, the liver, kidneys, hormones, anemia, infections, etc, but which one of these many should they order?
This brings us to the second problem which is time because, since a good history and a thorough exam can take an hour or more, having doctors see 20 to 25 patients takes up a lot of time. Average office visits really last 20 minutes and then it’s time to order those tests, which is doctor’s hopes might give them some answers.
Take a common complaint such as chest pain. When does it happen, resting or exercising, with or without food, sitting or lying down, with or without breathing problems? Already, we have 10 different areas of the problem which could be the heart or lungs or esophagus or spine or anxiety or any combination. Which tests to order?
The answer is time. There is no substitute for experienced listening. It points the trained ear to the most likely cause of the symptoms and then the proper test can be ordered.
At Integrated Quality Medical Care, we take the time to listen not only to the patient’s personal symptoms but question their environment, lifestyle, family history, all of which are important to get the correct diagnosis.