5. Urgen“C”y: Indicate the patient’s acuity level and how quickly the consultant should come and evaluate the patient.
Be clear about what your asking for, what your expectation is, and why.
6. Collaboration: After the discussion with the consultant, decide together a course of action, including any alteration of management or testing.
Entertain any reasonable requests of the consultant (eg, an additional lab order).
7. Close the Loop: Ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding the plan and maintain proper communication about any changes in the patient’s status.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
No matter how rough the waters of a consult appear, just follow the 7 C’s and your sailing will be smooth. Good luck!
Mr. Tsipis is a 2015 MD/MPH candidate at Duke University School of Medicine in in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Kessler is deputy chief of staff at Durham VA Medical Center and associate professor of emergency medicine and internal medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.