Items in AFP with MESH term: Clinical Competence
Patient Education - AAFP Core Educational Guidelines
Flaws in Clinical Reasoning: A Common Cause of Diagnostic Error - Curbside Consultation
Shave and Punch Biopsy for Skin Lesions - Article
ABSTRACT: Shave and punch biopsies are essential procedures for physicians who manage skin conditions. These office-based procedures can diagnose questionable dermatologic lesions, including possible malignancies. Approaches include the superficial shave biopsy, saucerization excision, punch biopsy, and elliptical excision. A superficial shave biopsy can be used for raised lesions. A saucerization biopsy may be performed for flat or pigmented lesions. Punch biopsies yield full-thickness samples and can be used for lesions that require dermal or subcutaneous tissue for diagnosis. Indications for biopsy of suspected melanoma remain controversial. Sufficient tissue may be obtained with the quicker, less costly saucerization biopsy or the more time-consuming, invasive elliptical excisional biopsy.
ABSTRACT: Family physicians commonly find themselves in difficult clinical encounters. These encounters often leave the physician feeling frustrated. The patient may also be dissatisfied with these encounters because of unmet needs, unfulfilled expectations, and unresolved medical issues. Difficult encounters may be attributable to factors associated with the physician, patient, situation, or a combination. Common physician factors include negative bias toward specific health conditions, poor communication skills, and situational stressors. Patient factors may include personality disorders, multiple and poorly defined symptoms, nonadherence to medical advice, and self-destructive behaviors. Situational factors include time pressures during visits, patient and staff conflicts, or complex social issues. To better manage difficult clinical encounters, the physician needs to identify all contributing factors, starting with his or her personal frame of reference for the situation. During the encounter, the physician should use empathetic listening skills and a nonjudgmental, caring attitude; evaluate the challenging patient for underlying psychological and medical disorders and previous or current physical or mental abuse; set boundaries; and use patient-centered communication to reach a mutually agreed upon plan. The timing and duration of visits, as well as expected conduct, may need to be specifically negotiated. Understanding and managing the factors contributing to a difficult encounter will lead to a more effective and satisfactory experience for the physician and the patient.