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April 1961

Medical History Taking.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(4):427-428. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710100107015

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Stevenson states in his introduction that this book is a result of attempts of a group of medical educators to clarify the history taking process. By concentrating on the problem of medical history taking and avoiding a definition of what to do with the information, Stevenson has perhaps bypassed the most important problem which his book attempts to solve. As a former medical resident, the reviewer has always been impressed by the realism of the rationalization "I don't have that kind of time," which will be the answer of the medical profession at large to Stevenson's book. Stevenson has quite correctly and ingeniously developed the thesis that the longer one talks to a patient, the more easily one can understand what is bothering him and that indeed in an initial interview very little of the patient's psychological difficulties may be seen. I say the rationalization because the larger problem of

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