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May 10, 1985

Proper Doctoring

JAMA. 1985;253(18):2759-2760. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350420173042

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"This book owes very little to the written word. The opinions found in it are my own, and I learned many of them from my teachers by word of mouth." The pages of Dr Mendel's manual fulfill these introductory sentences, giving the thoughts gathered from the consulting room and hospital ward.

A sampling of the topics might include learning to "play the role" of doctor, self-control, always remembering that one is "in service" to satisfy, attitudes toward colleagues, taking a history gracefully, performing an examination without offending, how to consider the gathering of test data, how to give advice, and how to deal with questions that are embarrassing to the physician and the patient. Some of the suggestions are surprising ("patients have backs which repay examination," "when the patient is in the ward there may be no necessity to make notes of changes in his condition or of the treatment