Improving medical students

Checklist for Etiquette-Based Medicine

Posted by medliorator on May 13, 2008

Michael W. Kahn, M.D. at the NEJM:

Pedagogically, an argument could be made for etiquette-based medicine to take priority over compassion-based medicine. The finer points of patient care should be built on a base of good manners. Beginning pianists don’t take courses in musicianship and artistic sensibility; they learn how to have proper posture at the piano and how to play scales and are expected to develop those higher-level skills through a lifetime of study and practice.

1. Ask permission to enter the room; wait for an answer.
2. Introduce yourself, showing ID badge.
3. Shake hands (wear glove if needed).
4. Sit down. Smile if appropriate.
5. Briefly explain your role on the team.
6. Ask the patient how he or she is feeling about being in the hospital.

Etiquette-based medicine would prioritize behavior over feeling. It would stress practice and mastery over character development. It would put professionalism and patient satisfaction at the center of the clinical encounter

Etiquette-Based Medicine [NEJM]

Correlate: Etiquette-Based Medicine


One Response to “Checklist for Etiquette-Based Medicine”

  1. sendhil said

    Dr. Kahn wrote an essay in the New York Times this month on the same topic ( I’ve come up with a (tongue-in-cheek) mnemonic for recalling his six steps: KISS OFf.

    Own role

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