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Perspective
May 2015

My Most Informative Error

Author Affiliations
  • 1Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
  • 2Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(5):681. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.105

I was going through my usual weekly early-afternoon clinic when I suddenly noticed that my manner with the patients was anything but usual.

I always love to chat with my patients. I long ago discovered that being curious and sincerely interested in a patient’s life and circumstances may take a little time but invariably adds a lot for both parties. The patient feels acknowledged by the personal attention, and I also am soon rewarded by bonding, empathy, and commitment, not to mention the occasional astounding story. With time, this approach became second nature. I felt that it transformed patients’ satisfaction, trust, and adherence, and it invariably made my practice less tiring and more interesting.

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