AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. December 1999, Volume 1, Number 4.


  • Print

Through the Patient's Eyes: A Winter's Tale

Readers are referred to a 1977 JAMA article by GJ Davis to consider the experience of health care from the patient's perspective.

To arrive at the place where respectful, trusting, open, and truly informed patient-physician communications can take place, one begins by giving the patient undivided, close attention, listening for what is said as well as unsaid. To cultivate this habit of closely attending to another requires practice in listening and interpreting the language, voice, and intonations of others’ speech. Through such conscious exercise, each of us also becomes more aware of our own speech affect. Every month, we will present narrated stories from the JAMA column A Piece of My Mind because spoken words reveal much about the relationship between patient and physician.

December Patient Story

Davis GJ. A winter's tale [A Piece of My Mind]. JAMA. 1997;277:1198.

The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.