Is there a name for this (awesome) treatment I got at my OBGYN?
November 16, 2016 7:15 PM   Subscribe

At my last annual exam, my OBGYN spent 20 minutes talking to me about how I was doing. We vented about the election, and she asked me about my kids, my marriage, childcare, whether I was getting "me time" and self-care. She seemed really interested in my mental health and even suggested types of therapy to pursue and shared her own coping mechanisms. It was the least bad I'd felt since the election. I'm now remembering that she was like that throughout my pregnancy as well, asking whether I was going to have help after my third child was born, what my plan was, etc. Is there a name for this type of patient engagement?

I now think that she was assessing my risk for PPD, abusive relationships, etc. in an incredibly compassionate and thoughtful way. I've never encountered anything like this with my other OBGYN providers, and am interested in learning if this is a formal thing, and if so, how to help promote it. Has anyone heard of this? Is it as rare as I think it is?
posted by snickerdoodle to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a medical student, and if this were specifically something doctors were trained in, I would currently be training in it. I think it's called being a good doctor + nice person + having the next patient on her schedule cancel.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 7:21 PM on November 16, 2016 [23 favorites]

The old-fashioned term for this was "bedside manner."
posted by zadcat at 7:26 PM on November 16, 2016 [45 favorites]

I want to say this sounds like "empathy", but I'm not sure how accurate that is.
posted by Roger Pittman at 7:44 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, this is standard primary care doctoring, plus sufficient time with each individual patient.
posted by aint broke at 7:45 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Could this be called skill in primary care? I'm not sure, because I don't think OBGYNs qualify as primary care practitioners? But that's what it sounds like to me.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:46 PM on November 16, 2016

Whole patient or patient centered care? My OB and my kids' pediatrician are like this and it has won them my business for life. It's amazing to be a person and not a number to someone you are that vulnerable with.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:50 PM on November 16, 2016 [10 favorites]

This is what normal primary care is supposed to be like.
posted by odinsdream at 8:13 PM on November 16, 2016 [18 favorites]

The OBs in the practice I go to are like this, too; they call it a patient-centered care model, I call it a reason to never go anywhere else.
posted by ThatSomething at 8:29 PM on November 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

My GP NP is also like this, and it's shameful that I'm so grateful to have her.
posted by raisingsand at 9:50 PM on November 16, 2016

I did marketing for doctors - I'd agree this is "bedside manner" or "patient centered care." It was honestly the biggest issue when patients would review doctors and a lot of doctors didn't think about it - not realizing that bad reviews that they were brushed off when they asked questions would be impacting their business.

So, from a marketing/word spreading standpoint, I encourage you to post a positive review for this doctor online. There's generally multiple ways to do this. Search the doctor's name and you'll likely find review sites. You could see if they want a testimonial for their website or other clinic materials.

You could (if you're comfortable) mention it on social media or to your friend circle since it can be an awkward thing for people to just ask of their friends. It's so hard to find doctors that listen to women - especially OBGYN for some reason.

I had met my GYN a few times before, but even so I had a huge thing prepared to "convince" him that I might have endo. Yet I listed like two symptoms and he said "Yeah, we should try a scope." I was stoked. Anyone in Utah needs his number...memail me.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:53 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm also a medical student and at my school we receive some training in doing just this -- we spend about six months specifically practicing open ended interviewing with patients where our only goals are to establish rapport, learn about their life, and screen for the kinds of issues you suspect your OB was. Patient centered care can certainly include this kind of care but is generally a much broader term (including things like rejection of paternalism, a focus on the biopsychosocial model of care, etc).
posted by telegraph at 9:16 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding the suggestion above to post a positive review online for your healthcare provider. I posted a Google review for my local Planned Parenthood clinic. I mentioned that the nurse's bedside manner was what made my visit so positive, with examples.

If possible, post a review to sites where a written narrative can be seen by users, not just a numeric score. Hopefully this will help spread awareness and encourage healthcare providers and patients to see this as an integral part of patient care.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 9:53 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Has anyone heard of this? Is it as rare as I think it is?

My doctor is like this. She's a family doctor, so I see her for everything from head to toe. The other doctors I've seen at her clinic tend to be the same way. My guess is that they allow more time for patient visits than is standard, so they have enough time to talk.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:26 AM on November 17, 2016

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