How do you want to receive news of your biopsy results?

Phone call or office visit: How would you want to be given biopsy results?

I do a lot of scalp biopsies to pin point the precise cause of a patient's hair loss. When the results of the biopsy land back on my desk - I often say to myself - if i were this patient would I want the results over the phone or given in person here at the office. A new study suggests many people consider a phone call to be just fine. 

A US study asked this very question to 301 individuals who receiving a skin biopsy. Although these were not biopsies for hair loss, the same general principles can likely be extracted. Interestingly most of the patients (67.1%) preferred to speak directly with their doctor by phone to receive their skin biopsy results. Being notified at an in person  clinic visit as a distant second place.  

What matters most to patients?

Based on the study, it seems that what matters most is that patients is speedy delivery of information and an ability to get questions answered. 51.7% wanted a method that was rapid, and 7.8% preferred a method that was not only speedy but also allowed them an opportunity to ask questions.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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