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Habits of the Highly Respectful Physician

Habits of the Highly Respectful Physician

Slightly altering Dr Michael W. Kahn’s article for hospital-based physicians, “Etiquette-Based Medicine,”1 for the outpatient setting helps me develop rapport with patients:

•If the patient is new to you, introduce yourself.

•Wash your hands in front of the patient to reassure that he or she is not going to catch something from the previous patient.

•Shake hands.

•Sit down.


•Ask about the patient’s life.

•Listen attentively.

— John Machata, MD
    North Kingstown, RI



1. Kahn MW. Etiquette-based medicine. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:1988-1989.

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