Patient centeredness has become a desideratum of health care reform. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) named it as one of its 6 core attributes of a high-quality health care system.1 The Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, as well as the theory behind medical homes, emphasizes patient-centered care.2 These calls are the contemporary expression of Francis Peabody's imperative that “the care of the patient is in caring for the patient . . . to engage deeply with patients . . . see the sorrows of severe illness, the hardships and resources of the family, and the circumstances of our patients' lives.”3
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The Rational Clinical Examination
The criteria for valid consent to medical treatment vary from state to state but are based on...
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