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Make the patient feel like the absolute center of your world

Several years ago, when I was working as a hospital physician in Florida, a patient’s wife said something that has always stuck with me. The service was very busy on that day, and I was doing my best to get through everybody in a timely manner. I was with a patient whose wife was at the bedside, beside herself with worry. I was focused on the main presenting complaint, but it was clear that the wife had a couple of questions that needed answering. I stood up after spending a few minutes with them, and my body language clearly signaled that I needed to move on, despite the fact that I was still intending to answer her questions before I left. Sensing my hurriedness, the patient’s wife ...

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