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April 5, 1965

The Doctor-Patient Relationship: A Suggested Practical and Purposeful Approach

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine (Division of Behavioral Medicine) (Drs. Bogdonoff and Klein) and psychiatry (Drs. Nichols and Eisdorfer), Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

JAMA. 1965;192(1):45-48. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080140051012

During the past several years, one of the criticisms leveled at the practice of medicine in modern-day America has been the supposed loss of the "old personal touch" from the doctor-patient relationship. These criticisms have been noted in both professional1,2 and lay publications3 and have indicated that the blame is often leveled specifically at the increase in subspecialization as well as at the use of complicated and intricate diagnostic procedures which entail much technical time but little physician-patient interaction time. Many of these communications have a tone of longing for the "good old days" and the physician of "horse and buggy" renown. Though the physician and patient may well have known each other much more intimately in years past—as Owen pointed out, the "good old days" were perhaps not so "good," and one would hardly wish to return to a less effective type of medical practice.4 It