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Explanations to the Patient-Reply

Catherine Anne Collins, MEd
JAMA. 1984;252(10):1279. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350100013009.
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In Reply.—  When a physician enters the examining room, he must spend a certain amount of time there regardless of whether he even opens his mouth. While he is examining the patient, running a test, glancing at a chart, writing a prescription, or washing his hands, he has an opportunity to share his knowledge and insights with the patient. If he chooses to give in this intangible way, it takes up no extra time. And if his three or four steps to the door are laced with a moment's hesitation, that hardly affects the patient who is waiting for him in the next room.I've never wanted extra time. I've only hoped for kind explanations in the time that was mine. I have always stuck to the most basic, important questions, and on several occasions I have not asked other questions that I really wanted to know, out of respect


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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