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Old 10-14-2012
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Question Looking at the clipboard

Hey, recent "passers" please advice. I wonder if I can actually look briefly at the clipboard from time to time while interviewing the patient? Some forum people adviced against looking at the clipboard ever. They suggest that it is critical to maintain eye contact ALL THE TIME and even occasional look down at your blue paper may harm. Dr. Reynolds from CSE video does look down taking notes rather often and it looks quite natural and not disrespectful to patient at all.
What do you guys think?
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Old 10-14-2012
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Default Of course you can

As a normal doctor
Do not stare and don't look in the floor or in the sky
Try to write some abbreviations like H for headache
N for nausea so u don't make great effort while writing
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Old 10-18-2012
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As alanine said above use abbreviations. Or may be a checklist. For eg: DM/HT for diabetes/hypertension etc. You can put a tick/scratch against a particular symptom instead of present or absent. I had issues maintaining eye contact, I asked a single question and spent a long time writing it down. I had to particularly look into this habit of mine. If I had a chance(which I surely dont want) to go back and correct myself, I would practise writing notes in a particular format using a set of abbreviations. When I began to practise cases I had scribbled all over the sheet and it was hard to type in those points in the PN in the right order.
Try practising PN alongwith your PE, keeping PN to be practised at the end wasnt a smart option in my case.
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Old 10-18-2012
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look at the clipboard... as long as they are just glances.

just make sure u hv enough eye contact with the actual patient... and are not using the clipboard as an escape mechanism.

when the patient is talking --- flip over ur clipboard on ur lap/ hold it close to ur chest or abdomen---- hence consciously making an effort to no divert attention from the patient

when u decide the SP has said something u need to write

simple solution.

good luck
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Old 10-18-2012
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It's impossible and unnatural to maintain eye contact with the patient at all times....
When asking questions and when listening to the patients responses eye contact is expected.I see no reason why you would need to look at the clip board or write whilst the patient is talking. However, it is perfectly fine to look down at your clip board when there are natural pauses in the conversation...you can use these opportunities to write stuff down, or you can pretend to write stuff down whilst you re-gather your thoughts....I did this very often. Just don't look like you're staring blankly at your clip board.
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Old 10-20-2012
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Idea! Looking is not a problem

For me I asked the patient in the beginning if it was okay to take notes while we talked. They always said yes so they are prepared for you to look at your clipboard. I used abbreviations as stated by others. When I put down my mnemonic if they said yes would put a check mark next to it if a no then crossed the letter out, works faster that way. Of course while the patient is talking try to maintain eye contact. The checks and crosses system made it easiest for me; took a second to look at the board then back up at the patient and move on to the next question. If ever I needed to write down something that took longer I said something like let me just take a note of that or okay let me get that down. If I ever got lost in my train of thought and was unsure of what to ask next I would look at my clipboard and say to the SP I am just making sure I have everything we need written down. Hope this helps you!
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