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On Being a Doctor |

A Time To Listen

Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Stanford, CA 94305-2160.

Requests for Single Reprints: Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Building 80 MC 2160, Stanford, CA 94305-2160; e-mail, barr@stanford.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(2):144. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-140-2-200401200-00017
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When teaching my students about what goes into a good doctor–patient interaction, I tell them about the studies that show how quickly doctors interrupt their patients. Male physicians especially, I tell them, are notorious for stopping the patient mid-sentence to redirect the discussion. In one study that I came across, female primary care physicians waited an average of 3 minutes before interrupting the patient to redirect the discussion toward issues more relevant to diagnosis. Male physicians waited an average of 47 seconds.





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