When you can't get away from a patient

February 1, 2008

Sometimes I get held up in the exam room by someone who just wants to chat. How can I end the visit without offending the patient?

Sometimes I get held up in the exam room by someone who just wants to chat. How can I end the visit without offending the patient?

You can always say, "I'd love to talk, but my staff keeps me moving. See you next time." Or when you know you're seeing a patient who's hard to get away from, keep your medical assistant in the exam room. That usually inhibits small talk. Or arrange for your nurse to provide your getaway excuse by knocking at the door at the end of the visit and announcing, "Doctor, the MRI report is ready for you."