STEPHEN N. SULLIVAN, M.D.
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To the editor: I enjoyed Platt and McMath's comments (1) on clinical hypocompetence in the December 1979 issue. They correctly identify as a major flaw the format of the interview. Their proposed restructured interview remains similar, however, to the traditional one taught in many medical schools and even with their modifications is inadequate.
During a consultation in internal medicine or one of its sub-specialties the patient's presenting problem should be approached gradually and not before the physician has a "feel" for the patient's personality, wellbeing, past health, financial circumstances, and other characteristics. A more logical sequence, which builds stepwise, is
SULLIVAN SN. Clinical Hypocompetence: The Interview. Ann Intern Med. ;93:513. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-93-3-513_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(3):513.
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