Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.
Author Affiliations: Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, Virginia (Mssrs Dittman and Weller; firstname.lastname@example.org).
To the Editor: A Viewpoint by Dr Wang1 encouraged readers to adopt a documentation style that would be targeted for patients' consumption. We disagree and posit that patient care would suffer.
Language is key to social cohesion, providing a foundation for communication and creating further shared experiences.2 In this way, contemporary students are initiated into the subculture of medicine by learning a shared vocabulary that describes specific physiological and psychological phenomena. Furthermore, the medical body of knowledge is expanding rapidly, thereby necessitating new words. Demands on a clinician's time require that documentation be balanced with patient encounters, education, and administrative tasks. Physicians must thus be able to rapidly and accurately communicate specific information.
Dittmar WJ, Weller A. Language in Medical Documentation. JAMA. 2013;309(10):983–984. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1001
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