8 of the best consult questions

There is an art to efficient information-gathering during a consultation, which helps to obtain the maximum information in the quickest time

There is an art to efficient information-gathering during a consultation, which can save time and help guide a diagnosis.

There are many elements to good communication. Being patient-centred and empathic is vital. The right tone helps, as does the right body language and posture.

Also central to good communication are the questions we ask our patients. I enjoy analysing the questions I ask patients.

I want to get the maximum information from the questions I ask, and if possible make sure they save me time in the consultation. Here are some of my favourites.

1. "Anything else?"
A patient seeing a doctor outlines the reason they are there in what is called "the rehearsal".

In a hospital setting, patients rarely get through their rehearsal, and the first question the hospital doctor asks is a closed one, such as "How long have you had the fever?"

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