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August 24, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(17):1928-1931. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980170038011

In medical practice at its best, no one factor is more important than the proper relation between doctor and patient. This factor assumes particular significance in dealing with older patients. So much of pediatric practice consists of giving routine immunizations, recording weights and measurements, and prescribing formulas for various ages that a well-trained nurse can take over a great many of the pediatrician's duties. The doctor can usually stay in the youngster's good graces by giving him a lollipop or bright piece of cardboard after the nurse has done the dirty work of puncturing his skin.

The oldster, however, is not so easily managed. The years have taught him caution in bestowing his confidence, and his diseases are apt to be of a chronic or recurrent nature. A satisfactory relation with his doctor is most important to the patient's well-being and peace of mind. Such a relation is most often