Editorials

Outpatient follow up

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7016.1315 (Published 18 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1315
  1. Mark Emberton
  1. Senior registrar in urology St Georges Hospital NHS Trust, London SW17 0RE

    Who benefits: doctors or patients?

    One of the first questions that trainee surgeons learn to ask a new boss before the first outpatient clinic gets under way is, “Do you routinely follow up all your patients?” The reason the question needs asking is that some consultants do and others don't. The paper in this issue by Alison Waghorn and colleagues (p 1344) confirms this impression.1 According to their survey of 100 randomly selected general surgeons, the decision to offer an outpatient appointment depended largely on the consultant's view of outpatient visits in general. The bimodal distribution of responses showed that some surgeons offered appointments to almost all their patients, irrespective of diagnosis or procedure, while others followed up almost none.

    In keeping with this observation, a recent review of individual …

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