Example Consultation by Dr Emily Blount

It is a rare learning opportunity to listen to another doctor’s consultation. We are often asked on our course “can we hear you do one?” So here we provide a simulated telephone consultation.

Within the “Ask an Examiner” session at our RCA Course, an RCA Examiner provides their comments to more of our consultations and generates a lively discussion.

Consulting within 10 minutes can be challenging and there are many subtle skills within a consultation. On our RCA Course, the Authors and RCA Examiners teach how to demonstrate these skills. The experienced doctor only needs to say few words to guide the patient and efficiently release the detail which is important to both patient and doctor. Asking concise open questions with an assertive and organised approach whilst reacting to cues, findings and the patient’s agenda is the skill of data gathering. Following a risk assessment, the doctor should reach a correct hypothesis and present their differential diagnosis and other important considerations with clear explanations. The doctor’s knowledge should be shared to empower the patient. GPs make frequent and fast decisions however these should be presented to the patient as recommendations and other options, involving the patient at each step to allow them to make an informed decision.

Every consultation has the potential for improvement. We hope you find it slightly relaxing to be the one critiquing the consultation skills rather than the one being critiqued.

Paediatric case

All the best,

Emily