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Dialogue: The Core Clinical Skill

F. Daniel Duffy, MD
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American Board of Internal Medicine; Philadelphia, PA 19106 Requests for Reprints: F. Daniel Duffy, MD, American Board of Internal Medicine, 510 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(2):139-141. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-128-2-199801150-00011
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The field of communications has advanced tremendously over the past 30 years. I am not speaking of satellite-enabled, worldwide transmission of images and words but of person-to-person communications-the methods humans deliberately use to affect each other's thoughts, feelings, and motivations. Politicians, business leaders, and advertisers have adopted the wisdom of this science to influence elections, increase productivity, and motivate us to buy products. Psychiatry roots its expertise in the science of interpersonal communication. Much psychiatric diagnosis and treatment occurs during the talk between psychiatrist and patient. The field of family practice has recognized the centrality of human communications by requiring accredited residencies to have a specific curriculum in behavioral and psychosocial medicine.

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