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Eric J. Cassell

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195113235

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195113235.001.0001

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The Clinical Method and the Patient

(p.105) 5 The Clinical Method and the Patient


Oxford University Press

This chapter asks: how can the clinical method and its techniques of observation that have served medicine so well be extended to the person of the patient? There are four distinct kinds of information, apart from brute facts, that doctors acquire from their patients — information that tells them about the patient as this individual patient — meanings, emotions, aesthetics, and intuitions. The final step in the process of knowing the patient, and an essential feature of the clinical method, is description. In relation to findings on the physical examination, describing what has been observed is essential to the observation.

Keywords:   emotions, individual patients, aesthetics, intuitions, description, physician training

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