J Clin Outcomes Manage
The medical inquiry: invite, listen, summarize
Lin CT, Platt FW, Hardee JT, Boyle D, Bennett L, Dwinnell B
Abstract Objective: To present a model for conducting a medical interview. Methods: Illustrative dialogue and discussion. Results: Observation of practicing physicians, residents in training, and medical students shows that most clinicians use a dominant mode of inquiry when talking with patients: a high-control barrage of closed questions. This approach wastes time, misses critical data, and alienates the patient. A better model, now used at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in teaching students the medical interview, emphasizes 3 components: Inviting a story, Listening effectively, and Summarizing periodically as the story progresses (“ILS”). Such a triad can be used over and over and largely replaces the physician-centered, high-control technique. Conclusion: The ILS technique can be taught, learned, and practiced and results in better data, more efficient use of time, and happier patients and clinicians.
Search the Turner White index to find abstracts of articles published in JCOM.