Your next doctor’s appointment could be with you, your doctor, and 11 other patients!
Group appointments are the latest healthcare trend, where a doctor spends a couple hours meeting and treating about a dozen patients at once – who all have the same condition. like high cholesterol or obesity.
In fact, the number of doctors holding group appointments has increased more than doubled over the last few years.
But the trend is splitting the medical community.
Supporters say it gives patients much more time with their doctor – roughly 2 hours instead of the typical 13-minute appointment. Meeting with a group also makes patients feel less alone – since they’re in a room with other people experiencing the exact same health issue. Another benefit? Supporters say group appointments improve health – since patients are generally seen – and treated - much faster. And they learn much more information, and are more likely to have their questions answered.
In fact, researchers spent 4 years analyzing 800 diabetes patients – half received group care, the rest one-on-one care. The result?
At the end of the study, group patients had lower blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI levels than patients who were treated individually.
But the movement is facing major backlash - from doctors themselves! They say that a lot of patients don’t feel comfortable talking about their private health issues in front of other people – which means they’re less likely to share potentially important symptoms they’re experiencing. Doctors also say that group appointments can damage patients’ health. That’s because instead of listening to their doctor’s medical opinion. They could listen to a fellow patient’s advice, instead.
So, would you feel comfortable in a group appointment? Post a note at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.