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June 1979

Mechanized History-Taking-Reply

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(6):714. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630430090035

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In Reply.—  My colleagues and I disagree with Dr Weitberg's assertion that the automated verbal medical history raises important ethical questions regarding the physician-patient relationship. We do not denigrate the patient-physician encounter and its value as a diagnostic tool, nor do we contend that all history-taking represents a routine aspect of medical care; quite the contrary. We share his view that they are of paramount importance. It is for the purpose of extending the interpersonal interaction and providing the busy clinician with more time for the important aspects of medical history-taking that the automated history was devised.We believe that the automated history is best used to obtain the standard background information contained in the family history, ie, medical history, occupational history, and review of systems. This is information that should be obtained on a first visit, but all too often is ignored because of its low diagnostic yield and

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