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Letters Examining patients

Feel the anxiety about examining patients and do it anyway

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 25 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4552
  1. Cherry M Buckwell, lecturer1,
  2. Markus Ornstein, consultant surgeon2,
  3. Annie Cushing, head of clinical and communication skills1,
  4. Doug Lothian, clinical skills tutor1
  1. 1Barts and the London Medical School, Clinical Skills Centre, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London EC1A 7BE, UK
  2. 2Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. c.buckwell{at}

The assertion that some doctors are reluctant to perform certain clinical examinations for fear of upsetting patients’ sensitivities is troubling.1 It is important to understand the patient’s perspective and concerns, but doctors must also be able to manage patients’ anxieties and provide good clinical care.

As medical educators …

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