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November 10, 1989

The Psychology of Postponement in the Medical Marriage-Reply

Author Affiliations

Topeka, Kan

Topeka, Kan

JAMA. 1989;262(18):2540. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430180077023

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In Reply. —  It is incorrect to suggest, as Dr Staubs has, that our description of the consequences of the modal physician's personality is intended to perpetuate an idea that physicians need only be good technologists to be good physicians. There is no doubt that many physicians who are good technologists will show the familiar pattern of rigid, emotionally flat styles of relating to others; noting that connection is not to advocate it. Indeed, our aim in describing the negative results of a rigid personality style is to help offset the effects of such a style on the physician's patients, as well as on spouse and family, by calling attention to it.Dr Staubs seems to have taken amiss our reference to an emotionally flat style of relating as adaptive, apparently believing that such a comment only reinforces a regrettable aloofness and disengagement from the feelings of suffering patients. Acknowledging