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JAMA Revisited
December 3, 2014

“The Good Bed-Side Manner”

Author Affiliations
 

February 13, 1892

 

JAMA. 1892;18( (7) ):203-- 204.

JAMA. 2014;312(21):2293. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279874

The true basis of the good bed-side manner is a large heart. Some expansiveness of the intellect is undoubtedly an advantage, but a humane and sympathizing nature outweighs all other qualities. The late Dr. Fordyce Barker has left a name as being one of the most winsome of the clinicians of his day and generation, and it is partially from the reflection that we do not now know his exact peer, that this pen has taken up this theme. The ages or generations repeat themselves measurably, and other Barkers have been and will be, but our present feeling is that a bright and shining light has been extinguished. He would not have styled himself a physician of the old school, but such he was, however, to the extent of not yielding up all of sympathy to the utmost of science. He, at no part of his career, failed to have a winning way with his patients, and seldom did any physician inspire so complete a confidence. But as years revolved he became even more tender. His kindly courtesy was not reserved for the rich alone.…

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