Two words to improve physician-patient communication: what else?

Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Feb;78(2):211-4. doi: 10.4065/78.2.211.


The medical interview is the physician's initial and perhaps most important diagnostic procedure, but physicians vary in their abilities and skills in physician-patient communication. Information gathering, relationship building, and patient education are the 3 essential functions of the medical interview. A physician-centered interview using a biomedical model can impede disclosure of problems and concerns. A patient-centered approach can facilitate patient disclosure of problems and enhance physician-patient communication. This, in turn, can improve health outcomes, patient compliance, and patient satisfaction and may decrease malpractice claims. Physicians can improve their communication skills through continuing education and practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Physician-Patient Relations*