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Doctors should do ‘biopsychosocial’ biopsies, where they learn who their patients are as people

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There is more to the technique of the biopsychosocial biopsy. Although it can be performed while standing, it should feel like a conversation and is better done with the doctor sitting by the seated patient or at the bedside. While tissue biopsies require that the doctor maintain a strictly sterile operative field, the biopsychosocial biopsy is a “nonsterile” procedure: the doctor should try to be warm and human rather than austere and distantly “professional.” Nonverbal cues are critical: body language, tone of voice, and eye contact often communicate curiosity, concern, and safety more clearly than what the doctor actually says and help a patient feel comfortable enough to share personal details.

Doctors

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