Our instructions for patient interviewing day:
"Try to get their chief concern. Ask abut any pain; try to get them to describe it. Really bore into the illness or complaint they have. Work on taking a medical history including past illnesses, medications, allergies. Then, if you have time, get some social history including home life, marital status, diet and exercise."
Here's how my interview went:
"Hello! My name is K8 and I am a first year medical student. We are learning how to interview; would you mind if I asked you some questions?"
"Great. Can you tell me about if you have any medical concerns today?"
"Okay, perhaps you could tell me about the last time you went to the doctor?"
"I don't go to the doctor."
"Have you ever been to the hospital?"
"How old are you?"
(And you've never been to the hospital or the doctors....okay....)
"Do you take any medications?"
"Yes, I take medications for high cholesterol and for my eye."
(How did you get medications for high cholesterol?)
"Oh, what is bothering you with your eye?"
"Nothing. I take a vitamin to help it."
"Does the vitamin help it?"
25 minutes later, getting no further information about the high cholesterol or eye:
"What do you do for work?"
"I volunteer at the hospital. Ever since I had TB, and the hospital fixed me right up, I've volunteered there because they were so wonderful."
"Tell me about having TB."
"No, I don't talk about that. I tried to forget it ever happened."
"Alright then, thank you for your time. That's all the questions I have for you."
Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate these volunteers helping us hone our interviewing skills. But I could not get ANY information out of this person that my preceptor wanted. My preceptor said I gave it a gallant effort, and unfortunately, this type of conversation is very similar to what I will deal with as a physician.
In other news, let's mock the first year medical students interviewing skills, because seriously, this is how I feel: