I’m perplexed. The game I’m in is all about communication, or so I’m continually told, and continue to tell the poor benighted Med Students that draw the short stray and have to make the trek out to Ambridge for final year community based medicine teaching.
Overall I flatter myself that that is one thing I’m not too bad at. If you want a fourteen point differential diagnosis for possible causes of a raised serum custard level you might do better with that nice Dr Neighbour—he’s got Medical Membership you know—but if you want your actual diagnosis explained then I reckon I’m yer man alright.
Now, this year, as every other this past four years, I and my confreres have been surveyed. In short for a couple of weeks around New Year and carefully worked out demographically accurate sample population from our surgeries were given questionnaires to rate us and our practice on.
We have just had the results, and sure enough my mean score for 10e (How well the Dr explained your problems or any treatment that you needed?) was a respectable 86%. I also got 83% for 10d (How well the Dr involved you in decisions about your care?).
Before we get too carried away the national mean for those two parameters, throughout the U.K. was 83% and 81% respectively, so not to be sniffed at at all. Still I must confess to being mystified, since despite these encouraging stat’s 11a lobs a dirty great spanner in the works. The self same population that gave those ratings, when asked in 11a (After seeing the Dr today do you feel able to understand you problem(s) or illness?) only muster a rating of 67% where the U.K. average is 69%.
So there you have it. Despite 3% better explanations than the average, and 1% more involvement my punters are ending up 2% less clear about their problem(s) or illness than their peers. Colour me 100% baffled.
On a brighter note Mrs Antrobus was in today. At 80 plus she had an umbilical hernia repair in the winter, and is now fully recovered. For the first time in almost a decade she has a flat tum, and can see her belly button. She’s so delighted she even asked her surgeon if she can get it pierced now—“Y’know, like that Brittney?”