One of the key issues undermining health in the United States and especially here in Tampa, Fla., is the simple fact that our modern healthcare system treats patients as consumers instead of as partners in health. The average primary care physician sees three to four patients per hour. That averages out to about 15 to 20 minutes per patient visit, not counting the time the doctor spends between patients and time spent writing prescriptions, ordering and reviewing test results, and so on. Subtract that time, and we estimate the average time a doctor actually spends communicating with a patient is about seven minutes. Seven minutes is certainly enough time for a doctor to hear a patient describe one or two primary symptoms and to write a prescription or make a referral to a specialist. However, it is not nearly enough time for a doctor to establish the sort of partnership with a […]