Researchers at the University of Rochester did a study of over one-hundred recorded conversations between doctors and actors posing as patients. About one-third of the doctors talked about themselves in a way that had nothing to do with the patient. About twenty percent of the time, the conversation never got back to the patient's problem.
So what can you do if your doctor starts yakking about his vacation or something?
The researchers recommend going into the appointment with an agenda of maybe two or three things that you want to talk about. If the doc goes off on a tangent, gently remind him or her why you came in the first place.