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Article
June 10, 1988

Doctors Have Feelings Too

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, The Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.

From the Department of Medicine, The Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.

JAMA. 1988;259(22):3296-3298. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720220042023
Abstract

The medical encounter, like all human interaction, is unavoidably emotion laden. Rather than viewing them as something to be overcome, the emotional responses of the physician can be analyzed for information about the patient or about the physician. The emotional states of patients arouse complementary reactions in the clinician that are diagnostic clues to important clinical syndromes such as depression or character disorders. Conversely, the physician can have idiosyncratic responses to patients that can lead to inappropriate diagnostic and therapeutic choices or to avoidance of particular problems or patients. Self-awareness is the key to utilizing these reactions to improve the patient-physician relationship.

(JAMA 1988;259:3296-3298)

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