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The Yin and Yang of medical consultations
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  • Published on:
    Lost in translation

    Fortuitously, the re-evaluation of the medical consultation(1) has coincided with the advent of intrusion of the computer into the doctor-patient interaction, typified by the comment "Clinicians [now] find themselves interacting more with their computers than with their patients...."(2). What that intrusion has meant is that the component of symptomatology emanating from body language is now being actively deleted from both the narrative and the normative versions of the patient's medical history. Discerning patients are probably aware of this shift in the dynamics of the consultation, the predictable consequence that "If patients do not have the impression we are listening and watching attentively, they may not tell us what we need to know, or ..............follow our advice" (1).
    In the Ying and Yang of the medical consultation a medically qualified patient might or might not be at an advantage, depending on what version of the patient's own story one might wish to read. The author of his personal experience of post-traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo was in the fortunate position of submitting, to his own doctor, a narrative which coincided with the normative version of that disorder. The consequence was a well thought out therapeutic strategy, culminating in complete cure(3). However, notwithstanding the fact that benign paroxysmal positional vertigo(BPPV) is by far the most common type of vertigo, with a r...

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