The doctor will see you shortly
Many physicians and health care leaders express concern about the amount of time available for clinical practice. While debates rage on about how much time is truly available, the perception that time is inadequate is now pervasive. This perception has ethical significance, because it may cause clinicians to forego activities and behaviors that promote important aspects of the patient-physician relationship, to shortcut shared decision making, and to fall short of obligations to act as patient advocates. Furthermore, perceived time constraints can hinder the just distribution of physician time. Although creating more time in the clinical encounter would certainly address these ethical concerns, specific strategies—many of which do not take significantly more time—can effectively change the perception that time is inadequate. These approaches are critical for clinicians and health systems to maintain their ethical commitments and simultaneously deal with the realities of time.
Keywordsmedical ethics time management patient-physician relations
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Arnold E, Pulich M. Improving productivity through more effective time management. Health Care Manag (Frederick). 2004;23:65–70.Google Scholar
- 4.McClennan B. Achieving greater patient throughput. Am J Roentgenol. 2004;183(3 suppl):9.Google Scholar
- 19.Kurtz SM, Silverman J, Draper J, Silverman J. Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine. 2nd ed., Oxford: Radcliffe Pub.; 2005.Google Scholar
- 20.Lewin SA, Skea ZC, Entwistle V, Zwarenstein M, Dick J. Interventions for providers to promote a patient-centred approach in clinical consultations. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;CD003267.Google Scholar
- 21.Silverman J, Kurtz SM, Draper J, Kurtz SM. Skills for Communicating with Patients. 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Radcliffe Pub.; 2005.Google Scholar
- 23.Ramsey P. The Patient as Person: Explorations in Medical Ethics. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1975.Google Scholar
- 38.Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 5th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2001.Google Scholar
- 40.American College of Physicians Ethics manual. Fourth edition. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128:576–94.Google Scholar
- 42.Daniels N. Just Health Care. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1985.Google Scholar
- 46.Giron M, Manjon-Arce P, Puerto-Barber J. Clinical interview skills and identification of emotional disorders in primary care. Am J Psychol. 1998;155:530–5.Google Scholar
- 53.Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Idealized Design of Clinical Office Practices. Boston, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2000.Google Scholar
- 54.O’Hare CD, Corlett J. The outcomes of open-access scheduling. Fam Pract Manage. 2004;11:35–8.Google Scholar