Monthly Archives: March 2012

Humanizing the Medical Interview

The traditional way medical students were once taught to take a medical history often turned into a barrage of close-ended questions that could actually limit doctors’ understanding of patients’ experience of illness. I’m happy to report that medical school has … Continue reading

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The Medical Inquisition: The Downsides of Traditional History-Taking

Medical students are taught to take a careful history because in most cases, therein lies the patient’s diagnosis. When I was in medical school, we were taught how to “take a history.” This included: the history of the present illness … Continue reading

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What You Should Know About History-taking

The history begins with your description of your symptoms. When they began and how they have changed over time. Once you’ve initially presented these symptoms, your doctor will ask you more detailed questions that can flesh out crucial details that … Continue reading

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What You Should Know: The Structure of Every Medical Visit

By tradition, every medical visit has a common structure. I’m sure you recognize the basic design. You present your problem. Your doctor asks you questions about it then does a focused physical examination, makes a diagnosis and comes up with … Continue reading

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What’s Going on in Your Doctor’s Head?

You may have heard your computer revving high, consuming RAM while it is working on some tasks in the background while you answer your e-mails or surf the net. A similar process occupies a large part of your doctor’s brain … Continue reading

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Meeting with Your Doctor: Two Voices, Two Agendas

In recent posts, I wrote of the importance of a shared agenda when you meet with your doctor, and the importance of bringing forth all the items on your agenda – your list – when you book the appointment and … Continue reading

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Meeting Your Needs With Your Doctor

Doctors and patients may have quite different priorities when they meet together. Recognizing this, what can we do as patients and doctors to come to a common understanding and have our needs and expectations met at each visit? The worst … Continue reading

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