Average consultation time in Ireland is about 15 minutes per consultation. In this time you will need to establish a good relationship with the patient, communicate effectively, and make an accurate diagnosis.
Research shows that a focused history and examination will indicate the diagnosis in about 75-80% of cases. Good communication with patients during a consultation is your first line of defence in warding off complaints and potential clinical negligence claims. Effective interpersonal skills are particularly important for locum GPs because they often have only one chance to make a good impression.
Patients who are denied the opportunity to explain their concerns or reasons for presenting may feel alienated, frustrated or resentful. Patients who are kept informed about their condition, and who are actively involved in deciding on the appropriate treatment, are more likely to comply with suggested treatments and are less likely to complain if things go wrong.