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BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 16 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:h

Why is it so difficult for doctors to put patients at the centre of their own care?

Doctors of course intend to, and think that they do, put patients at the centre of things. That's one reason why they go the extra mile for them—as Roger Jones describes in his editorial on altruism (p 624). It's why they feel shame when they have to admit that things could be done better—as Frank Davidoff explains in his editorial on the powerful effects of shame in stopping improvement efforts (p 623). And it's why doctors care strongly about their professional values …

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