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Teaching Psychiatric Interviewing Techniques to Medical Students

Leonard Gold, MD; Isabel M. Wolf, MSW
JAMA. 1965;194(9):1014-1015. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090220070025.
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RAPPORT between a physician and a patient depends upon the use of appropriate interviewing techniques. A physician does not become proficient in the use of these techniques solely through experience or by being endowed naturally with a sympathetic personality. These techniques must be taught. It is only recently, however, that methods of teaching these techniques have begun to evolve,1 although others have previously stressed the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.2-4 At the New York Medical College in 1962, a course was initiated for the purpose of teaching to all medical students interviewing techniques which they could use to obtain information about the mental and emotional status of all patients. While this was done under the aegis of the Department of Psychiatry, these techniques, once learned, could be incorporated in the examination of all patients, not only those with primary psychiatric difficulties but also those with primary somatic illness.


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