Nigerian forum: Health - How to Be a Better Patient
Share this topic
11 Nov 2015 23:54

Helping patients communicate their symptoms clearly could go a long way toward making an accurate diagnosis, John Ely, MD, MPH , said at the annual meeting of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.
Ely, a family physician who is retired from the University of Iowa in Iowa City and has been a patient himself recently, said he “got to thinking about what a good patient would do.” One of the things professors teach medical students is the eight characteristics of a symptom.
“Patients don’t know what these eight things are, I don’t think,” but there’s no reason they shouldn’t know, Ely said during a session at the meeting about how to get patients more involved in getting an accurate diagnosis .
The eight characteristics listed by Ely included:
Where is your pain or numbness? This obviously wouldn’t work for more generalized symptoms like fatigue or shortness of breath.
How long have you had the symptom? If it’s something intermittent — like a spell of chest pain — how often does it happen and how long does it last? Is it gradually getting worse? Getting better? Staying the same?
What were you doing when you first noticed the symptom? Were you just sitting there? Arguing with someone? This is particularly important if the patient is having dizziness, Ely noted.
Related: 6 Questions Your Doctor Should be Asking You
Are any other symptoms associated with this one — for example, light-headedness or shortness of breath?
Read more » at

12 Nov 2015 14:36

Good job