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September 1969

Self-Awareness as a Formal Component of the Curriculum

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(3):385-386. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300190125023

One of the keynote features of the doctoring profession is the interpersonal relationship that is established between two people, the patient and the physician. Save for the rare instance when the patient is in coma, whenever care is being provided an interaction between the patient and the doctor is taking place. Patients do not usually order their medical care by mail; physicians almost never treat by way of absentee ballot. Yet, if this quality of the professional endeavor is so all-encompassing, why is there no universally included training experience which focuses on this aspect of physician activity? At the risk of running counter to the main sweep of medical education—which at the present time is evolving tightly-packed "core" years followed by multiple-track individual curricula—the suggestion here is made that specific training in the conduct of the doctor-patient relationship should become a requisite course as part of the "core" training. Everyone