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In most cases, it's safe to say that time is a big factor in preventing people with COPD from getting the education they need for treatments and medications. Most physicians will readily admit that for a variety of reasons, they do not have enough time available to give each patient the attention they really need and deserve. Of course, there are many strategies under development to help address this (including improving access to respiratory therapists like me), but one intriguing concept discussed by Dr. Nick Yphantides (chief medical officer for San Diego County, CA) at a panel at the recent Pulmonary Horizons conference is the idea of having a group medical appointment for people with COPD. I've been in a handful of these appointments for other conditions (around here they're called "shared medical appointments") and they way they basically work is that a small group (5-6 people) meet at one time with the doctor, who can answer questions and facilitate some discussion. This part lasts for, say, a half-hour, after which the doc (or NP or PA) meets with each patient individually for a few minutes to answer questions specific to that person's case. This potentially gets more people's questions answered, and the group setting can prompt other questions and connections.
What would you think of an appointment like this?
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It is not our intention to serve as a substitute for medical advice and any content posted should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While we encourage individuals to share their personal experiences with COPD, please consult a physician before making changes to your own COPD management plan.