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ERIC Number: EJ877749
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1090-4018
If You Listen, the Patient Will Tell You the Diagnosis
Holmes, Frederick
International Journal of Listening, v21 n2 p156-161 2007
Since the time of Hippocrates, professors in medical schools have been telling their students to listen to patients. Medical students and young doctors all come to realize that the medical history, the patient's account of his or her own illness, is the best source of information with which to make an accurate diagnosis. The physical examination, laboratory tests, and various forms of imaging are supplements to the medical history. The patient tells the physician his or her diagnosis by revealing specific symptoms that, taken together, constitute a diagnostic entity. The relation of patient and physician is both intimate and time-honored in all cultures. Society allows the physician to touch the patient and to ask any questions, even questions of the most intimate nature. As to touching, society accords the patient the assurance that the physician will not touch in an inappropriate manner. As to questions and their answers, more importantly, implicit in the doctor-patient relationship is the guarantee of confidentiality. Because of this guarantee most patients will be open and honest in what they tell their physicians. In this article, the author shares two cases that affirmed his belief in the medical axiom, "If you listen, the patient will tell you the diagnosis."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A