Bmj Usa: Filler

“Do it!”

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 11 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:E283
  1. Renate G Justin (, retired family physician
  1. Fort Collins, CO

    The literature abounds with work detailing how little of what doctors say or explain to patients is retained by them.1,2 What interests me is why, in the face of that truth, sometimes what we say has a significant impact—an impact we, as physicians, are unaware of at the time of the encounter.

    Recently, at a gathering, an attractive woman introduced herself to me as a former patient. I recognized her, but remembered nothing of her history. She said to me, “You saved my life.”

    Wow, I thought, I should remember that. She then told me that she came to see me 25 years ago because she had experienced several weeks …

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