Doctors fail to see the joke

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 14 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:561
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    A patient laughs four times during an average consultation with a doctor, according to new research.

    But doctors rarely reciprocate, say the researchers, who videotaped 250 consultations in order to count the number of instances of laughter, smiles, and “smiling voices” involving the doctor or the patient or both.

    The researchers, from the University of Helsinki, highlight some of the subjects of conversation that triggered laughter in the patients—varicose veins, pain in the leg, yeast …

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