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Diagnosis and Treatment |

The Patient's Story: Integrating the Patient- and Physician-centered Approaches to Interviewing

Robert C. Smith, MD; and Ruth B. Hoppe, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Requests for Reprints: Robert C. Smith, MD, B220 Life Sciences Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Smith and Hoppe: B220 Life Sciences Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824.


Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(6):470-477. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-115-6-470
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▪Patients produce biopsychosocial stories that integrate material from the medical and personal aspects of their lives. Capturing the personal aspect of the story requires that a patient-centered approach to clinical interviewing complement the equally important physician-centered approach. Patient-centered interviewing actively involves the patient and ensures that his or her perceptions, needs, and concerns are articulated during the physician-patient interaction. In our article, we define patient-centered interviewing and provide a rationale for using it. We also describe how patient-centered interviewing is done, how it is integrated with the physician-centered approach, and how to understand the product of this complementary approach to clinical interviewing, the patient's biopsychosocial story.

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