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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The clinical settings in which physicians and other healthcare providers must apply their scientific knowledge and technical expertise are diverse and require further adaptive capacities on their part. Thus, the science and the art, although often opposed, are in fact complementary and together define excellence in practice in which the art is not, as stated by Saunders, merely part of the medical humanities but it is integral to medicine as an applied science. This essay addresses those dimensions of medical talk described as the “art” of the medical encounter, how these impact the quality of information gathering and provision, and how, in turn, this influences patients’ understanding and recall. The notion of the “art of information exchange” is reframed as a “medical dialogue” using communication skills and dimensions not traditionally thought of when referring to the “art” of medical information exchange.

Keywords: medical communication, medical dialogue, art of communication

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