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Vocational Counseling

Posted Aug 05 2008 4:16pm
They never tell you in medical school or residency that if you become a family doctor one of your jobs will be a vocational counselor. I do a fair amount of workman's compensation injuries which at times can be thebainof my existence, and at times, can be quite rewarding.

Today I found myself spending most of an office visit talking to my patient about her new job that hopefully would not lead to another back injury like the one she sustained at her prior employment. We talked about her duties and responsibilities, the temperment of her new employers, what kind of co-workers she would have, what her hours of working would be, and how long her commute was. I don't think we mentioned diagnosis and treatment for more than thirty seconds.

Where is the quality indicator or performance measure for this kind of work? The non-medical aspects of being a primary care physician are at least as important, if not more, than the strictly biological aspects of medicine. I think this patient would agree as well.

The Country Doctor
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