Clinical hypocompetence: the interview

Ann Intern Med. 1979 Dec;91(6):898-902. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-898.


In observing more than 300 clinical interviews, we have seen a high frequency of physician-engendered defects. Most of the defective examples can be classified as one or a combination of five syndromes: the therapeutic lack; inattention to primary data (symptoms); a high control style; an incomplete data base usually omitting patient-centered data and active problems other than the present illness; and a thoughtless interview in which the physician fails to formulate needed working hypotheses. Proper diagnosis of these defects allows for better prescription of educational correction.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Medical History Taking
  • Physician-Patient Relations*