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July 2012

Talking to Patients

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(7):951. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2012.749

The article by Morse1 in the February issue of the Archives should be required reading for all physicians and health care personnel. “The secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient”2 and “an essential element for effective therapeutic communication is empathy”1 are the keys in the successful practice of medicine. Just listening to the patient is therapeutic for the patient. Just saying you are sorry about your patient's plight enhances the communicative human bond and advocacy. Relationships remain after the skills are exhausted. It is important to your patient that you do not abandon him or her simply because you have no remedy for his or her vision loss.3