In which ways and in which circumstances should institutions and individual physicians facilitate patient-physician religious concordance when requested by a patient? This question suggests not only uncertainty about the relevance of particular traits to physicians' professional roles but also that medical practice can be construed as primarily bureaucratic and technological. This construal is misleading. Using the metaphor of shared language, this article contends that patient-physician concordance is always a question of degree and that greater concordance can, in certain circumstances, help to obtain important goals of medicine.
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