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Books, Journals, New Media
May 2, 2001

Patient InterviewsField Guide to the Difficult Patient Interview

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


by Frederic W. Platt and Geoffrey H. Gordon, 201 pp, with illus, soft cover, $29.95, ISBN 0-7817-2044-3, Philadelphia, Pa, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999.

JAMA. 2001;285(17):2257. doi:10.1001/jama.285.17.2257-JBK0502-4-1

Medical interviewing is an enormously complex task. Physicians must ascertain symptoms, make diagnoses, get to know the patient in a broader psychosocial context, develop a therapeutic relationship, and counsel the patient about behaviors and therapies. Recent studies show the importance of doctor-patient communication for patient satisfaction, compliance, and clinical outcomes. All this depends on a 15 minute visit!

Students of the doctor-patient relationship know that specific techniques help in carrying out the interview's various functions. Platt and Gordon's Field Guide to the Difficult Patient Interview is a useful tool that summarizes practical techniques and strategies to improve our interactions with patients.

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