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A Piece of My Mind
April 17, 2002

The Most Powerful Therapeutic Force

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2002;287(15):1909-1910. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1909

We may differentiate the science from the art of medicine, but we cannot practically dissociate them. —William H. Draper, 1888

Of all the problems besetting medicine, the declining or absent patient-physician relationship, especially as a caring experience, is most often mentioned by the patient, noted in the medical and lay literature,1 and yet is the most directly remediable of medicine's difficulties. At one time the strongest element in the care of sick people, the patient-physician relationship, with the expansion of scientific knowledge and technology and with medicine's transmutation to a revenue-generating activity, has declined or disappeared.2

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