In August, a small group of vasectomy patients went through a pre-appointment consult together at St. Luke’s Meridian men’s clinic.
By consolidating what would have previously been multiple appointments, the initial, informational portion of the visit is longer. The urologist has more time to explain the procedure and patients can ask more questions. The men then split off for an individual examination with a urologist.
“I liked the explanation,” one patient said. “If you Google it … there’s different ways to do the vasectomy. It’s nice to know how [the urologist] does it.”
Patients also have the benefit of hearing one another’s questions and being put at ease.
“The closest thing I can compare it to is a birthing class,” the patient said. “When my wife and I had our first kid … I got to hear questions that I wouldn’t have thought to ask.”
One patient that shared his experience said that there were four other patients with him during the informational portion of the visit.
“A vasectomy is so commonplace,” he said. “I talked about it with my friends, my wife … I didn’t feel uncomfortable with other people.”
Shared services are not new at St. Luke’s, lifestyle medicine has had success with them.
“These are so beneficial to patients because I can cover things more thoroughly and have more interactions with patients,” said St. Luke’s men’s clinic urologist Dr. Robert Jackson. “We’re trying to reduce anxiety for patients.”
The positive feedback from patients since the transition has led the men’s clinic to consider what other services could be offered as shared medical visits.
In the future, group-style visits could include services for management of behavioral and mental health concerns, high-blood pressure, diabetes, tobacco and smoking cession.
“It depends on the type of procedure and what you have going on, but I would do it again,” the patient said.
Alexis Bennett is a communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.