Letters

Compliance and concordance with treatment

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7098.1905 (Published 28 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1905

Coming to an understanding with patients and prepositions

  1. Iain Bamforth, General practitioner and writera
  1. a Cabinet médical, 37 rue Wimpheling, 67000 Strasbourg, France
  2. b Department of Thoracic Medicine and Allergy, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT

    Editor—The translation of the phrase from Franz Kafka's short story A Country Doctor at the beginning of Marshall Marinker's personal paper should read: “To write prescriptions is easy, but to come to an understanding with people is hard.” 1 It is unlikely we will ever come to an understanding of people; coming to an understanding with them, though difficult, is at least feasible and, in any case, entirely in the sense of Marinker's article. It is worth observing that the reflexive German verb sich verständigen puts the onus on the pronominal subject–that is, the doctor–to make himself or herself understood in a more subtle way than that conveyed by the gesticulating of the English prepositional construction. Interestingly, the …

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