Most of us are a little bit nervous talking to doctors. They often seem to have the agenda for the appointment in their heads and they somehow lead us all through that agenda to what can seem like their suggested ending.
They mean well - they want us to get the most bang for our buck in the appointment time, and they'll usually pepper in a bit of banter at the start and end.
What if they didn't set the (whole) agenda? What if we did some of it?
They say that a clinician who can keep quiet and 'allow' their patient the first minute, gets much richer information than in a standard appointment. Top tip - a minute is an inordinately loooooooong time! Most of us hate silence, so we naturally fill any gaps. What comes out then often is the real agenda. So why don't we?
When I first started incorporating Solution Focused Therapy into consultations I found it so difficult (read IMPOSSIBLE!) to not offer suggestions or say what I thought patients wanted to hear. Can't be much good if you don't offer advice! The whole ethos of Solution Focus is to allow clients or patients to find the resources in themselves - suggestions devalue that and suggest that we the clinician knows best (and in the factual and process bits we probably do). We might bring medical expertise into the room - we so don't know best!
I had to learn (and it took a long time!) to sit right back and sit on my hands to stop me doing that. The more I was able to do that, the more clients opened up and found their personal resources.
I kept my Zippy toy to remind me to keep quiet - to Zip It!
What if your doctor is like Zippy without the Zip? Chattering quickly? You can decide before the appointment what you want from it, what you really really really want! Think how much that would help them.
How will you know it was useful? What would be different? Introduce these as early as possible in the appointment and see where it leads. It is your appointment after all.