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A Piece of My Mind
September 15, 2010

“Taking” a History

JAMA. 2010;304(11):1159-1160. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1323

A fellow first-year medical student and a preceptor in our interviewing course had not made it past the third word in the analysis of the student's patient history write-up.

“I don't understand why ‘female’ is wrong and ‘woman’ is right,” said the student.

“Because ‘female’ could apply to a human or to an animal. It's dehumanizing,” replied the preceptor.

“But it's objective and scientific, and it's how I was taught,” the student insisted.

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