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We would like to thank Dr Launer for his reflection on how doctors engage with patient narratives during consultations.1 We would like to share a few considerations as medical students on how medical education shapes our practice as future clinicians. We suggest that the practice of translating what patients say into medically relevant information, is a process learnt early on in medical school.
By the time we graduate, the fundamental structure and knowledge required for history taking have been ingrained in us. We are taught all the surgical sieves and medical frameworks needed to be able to recognise the key signs and symptoms of different conditions. In order to perform well in exams and impress our consultants, asking the right questions and getting the right diagnosis is a priority in our learning from the very start. History-taking becomes likened to a mathematical calculation, whereby through understanding the principles behind the equations and …
Contributors LD provided the idea for the letter and wrote the letter with the support of TT and SR. TT and SR were involved in editing the letter and providing the final manuscript. SAZ was involved in researching relevant literature and references to include in the letter.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.