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A Piece of My Mind
June 25, 2008

Touched

Author Affiliations
 

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2008;299(24):2834. doi:10.1001/jama.299.24.2834

She appeared near the end of my rounding list. On this weekend, like many others, a colleague had signed out a group of patients with a brief history and instructions for each. And, like other weekends, this was a substantial list of patients. When I round, I try to get to know each patient through seeking some common link, shared experience, or knowledge of some facet of his or her life that lets me know who he or she is, and not just why each one is in the hospital. This relationship building is necessary and essential. Hospitalization is stressful for patients and their families, full of the uncertainty of illness and fear of the known and unknown. Relationship building is necessary because I may need to have some difficult conversations about diagnoses, treatment, and the future; it is essential because establishing effective relationships is one part of my personal and professional satisfaction as a physician.

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