The communication that follows identifies the need to structure a patient-doctor relationship that encourages a partnership in health care. It also describes the potential for dehumanization of medical practice and offers possible solutions. In this issue (p 1113), Rosen and Blackwell describe an educational approach that has helped student physicians "cultivate empathy and identify skills in developing an effective doctor-patient relationship." They note that the course that they offer has "helped to prevent the development of detachment, dehumanization, and cynicism that usually occurs during the clinical years of medical school." The students who participated in the seminars developed an awareness of the need for the patient to be involved in decision making. The study by Rosen and Blackwell discloses that emphasis of the psychosocial aspects of medical practice can have an impact on the student physician's attitudes and interpersonal skills.—Ed.
Alfred Soffer. Searching Questions and Inappropriate Answers. Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(6):1117–1118. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340190073015