The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
When I evaluate a new patient, I work to compress data collection and screen time on the front end of the visit so I can free up the remainder of the visit for face-to-face discussion and shared decision making. This intentional visit design is necessary because of the realities of modern clinic schedules. And so the questions I ask and their sequence is important to my understanding as well as the experience of the patient.
In medicine there are clinical interview questions that deliver high impact nuggets at low-cost. This is one of them. This question exposes critical data that, in the background, often drives my initial approach to diagnostics and therapy. If you are a health professional try it and you’ll see. Clearly, there are clinical specialty visits that are more transactional where open-ended questions are not as critical. A good example would be consultation with a surgeon for hernia repair where the task at hand is unequivocal. (Source: 33charts.com)