October 1980

Physicians, Patients, and Medicine

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine 333 Cedar St New Haven, CT 06510

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(10):1277. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330210025015

The physician-patient relationship is in trouble. Brody's article in this issue (see p 1286), for example, shows that many physicians are unaware of the behavioral and psychological aspects of their patients, such as noncompliance with drug regimens, presence of significant psychiatric problems, and recent life stresses. Lack of time and brevity of physician-patient contact did not account for the poor communication between clinicians and patients. The author points out that the literate physician should know, on the basis of literature, that (1) psychosocial factors are important in medical care, and (2) primary physicians can effectively improve patient compliance and treat emotional problems through various techniques available to them. Well, in spite of the weight of literature that should bear down on the physicians' conscience, they often simply do not obtain psychosocial information necessary for an optimal physician-patient relationship.

I believe that it is not physicians' lack of concern for their

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