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February 2015

Unintended Influence: When Our Words Mean More Than We Think

Author Affiliations
  • 1HealthReach Community Health Centers, Richmond Area Health Center, Richmond, Maine
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(2):166-167. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6408

A family friend recently shared the experience of her 83-year-old mother, a relatively healthy woman who lives independently at home. She has 3 daughters who check in on her and support her. The only notable medical history was a stroke about a year and a half prior that resulted in challenges with decision making, but she has made considerable recovery.

At a regular visit to her long-time family physician, the patient’s physician ordered an annual mammogram. The result of the screening mammogram showed something abnormal, and follow-up ultrasonography was recommended.