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July 5, 1995

Malpractice, Patient Satisfaction, and Physician-Patient Communication-Reply

Author Affiliations

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Nashville, Tenn
Indiana University Indianapolis
Duke University Durham, NC

JAMA. 1995;274(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530010036019

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In Reply.  —The Fallon Clinic's experience is encouraging and suggests that it is possible to enhance patient perceptions of the interpersonal skills of physicians, perhaps even those with high malpractice claims experience. One possible explanation is that the process of obtaining feedback from peers led the clinicians to appreciate the problems so that they could address them. Another is that the training program actually imparted new skill. Understanding the relative importance of peer-provided feedback and providing physicians education concerning the skill to correct identified problems is needed in order to design education strategies that sustain behavioral changes over time.Dr Weyrauch's hypotheses are important, and we would argue that all the interpersonal skills in the world will not heal a physician-patient relationship marred by bias and condescension. Nonetheless, to the extent we looked, we did not find evidence that patients were more likely to see the high-frequency physicians as biased

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