Around the country the idea of group physicals has been gaining momentum. A recent article in Everyday Health "Group Appointments With Doctors: When Three Isn't a Crowd" explains it well. Before you get creeped out thinking of the doctor examining everyone in a big room, everyone still gets a private exam. The benefit is getting more detailed information and sharing questions with others in a similar interest group.
There are so many teaching points to discuss at annual well visits that it is impossible to fit them into a typical 15-20 minute appointment. If you're really interested in the recommendations (and I will admit I fall short on addressing every one of these sundry things at standard visits and still won't be able to fit them all into the group visit) they are found on Bright Futures.
A solution many doctors are finding helpful to cover more topics is to do a group teaching session to review all the nutrition, safety, development, and vaccine information, then break into individual rooms for history taking, vitals, vaccines, and exams. This eliminates the repeated advice and instruction for separate patients, allowing more to be discussed with a group of patients and still allow time for individual exams.
The benefits to patients are many:
- More information shared in a comprehensive manner
- Start on time!
- Individual time with the nurse and physician
- Potential to learn from others in the same age group (from discussion/questions raised)
Call the office soon if you're interested!