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Patient questions per medical visit

June 10, 2015

Some patients in BC may notice a sign at their doctor’s office that limits the amount of questions they can ask in a medical visit to one. These signs are generally an office-by-office, clinic-by-clinic decision that the doctor has made in order to reduce backlog and decrease waiting times.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, the regulatory body for medical practice in BC, says that many doctors have established a “one issue per visit” policy in order to assist them with time management and patient scheduling due to a heavy roster of patients.

Dr Bill Cavers, past president of Doctors of BC, explains that while he doesn’t like to use a sign, he does tell his patients that there is a time limit and they will have to focus on the most urgent problems for that day.

He recommends to all patients that they be aware of time and present the doctor a written list of all health issues before the visit. The doctor can then read over them and decide if the issues are related or if some of them should be examined during the visit.