The doctor will see all of you now


Is nothing private anymore?

Group visits to the doctor are gaining in popularity, Time magazine reports.

“As soon as I mention shared medical appointments, everybody automatically pictures a room full of people in their underwear,” Dr. Richard Kratche, a family physician at Cleveland Clinic, tells Time.

Patients aren’t examined in a group. At least that part is private. It’s the end of the visit that’s shared — the part where the doctor lectures you about high blood pressure, stopping smoking or losing weight.

Shared appointments let physicians see a dozen patients with similar symptoms at once, Time reports. Most insurers already cover group visits. And with Obamacare on the horizon, shared appointments look like a good way to save the doctor’s time, and money.

“It’s a different way of speaking about health that is more about friends around a circle learning together than talking with an authority figure in a white coat,” Dr. Jeff Cain, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, tells Time.