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Article
August 13, 1932

DOCTOR AND PATIENT

JAMA. 1932;99(7):566. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740590046016

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Abstract

Modern medicine, strongly oriented toward the objective evidences of disease and toward their explanation on a physical basis, has abundantly justified its attitude by the advance it has made in the diagnosis and treatment of organic disease. This advance, however, together with the specialization it has developed, has tended toward a depersonalization of the practice of medicine and toward concentrating attention on the disease rather than on the patient. An instinctive resistance toward this tendency has been widely manifested and there is continued insistence that the practice of medicine involves a personal relationship between the physician and his patient that cannot be obviated. In the absence of a clearly stated rational basis for this point of view or a definite understanding of why this personal relationship might be of importance, the case has at times been weakened by a retreat to the grounds of sentiment.

In the meantime, psychiatry has

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