Study: Talkative doctors may neglect patient needs

While doctors may be trying to build rapport by chatting up patients, it often fails to work and may distract physicians from the problems they're working to solve. That's the conclusion of a study published yesterday in the The Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers recruited 100 primary-care physicians in the Rochester, N.Y. area willing to allow two dummy patients to visit and make an audio recording of their interaction. The researchers found the doctors talked about themselves and their lives about one-third of the time--and more surprisingly, concluded that there was no evidence that such disclosures actually helped patients. In fact, in four out of five instances, when a physician shared personal information he or she never got back to the clinical topic they were discussing. 

To find out more about the study:
- read this piece in The New York Times (reg. req.)