Clinical Problem-Solving

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To the editor: The article by Kassirer and Gorry in the August issue (Ann Intern Med 89:245–255, 1978) is an excellent review of the cognitive aspects of history-taking.

We prefer to emphasize, however, that the major deficiencies in history-taking by students and house officers include the inability to master the “conduct” (1, 2) of the interview, the “content” (3) of the interview, and the integration of these concepts (Figure 1). Collecting data (content) requires familiarization with medical terminology, organization of information, and symptom characterization. Effective interaction between the patient and the doctor (conduct) requires a sensitivity to people and a

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