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When Doctors Don’t Listen

Authors of a new book say that the relationship between doctors and patients should change. (U.S. Navy)

Authors of a new book say that the relationship between doctors and patients should change. (U.S. Navy)

If you think that your doctor really listens to you, you might be one of the lucky few, or, you might need to think again. Studies have found that doctors prevent patients from finishing their opening statements nearly 80 percent of the time. Do you have a health concern? Well, in most cases, doctors give you just 18 seconds to explain before they interrupt. So talk fast because they’re busy.

Critics say that kind of encounter is typical. And it isn’t just rude. It’s resulting in too many misdiagnoses. Too many tests. Too little quality care.

My guests today argue that the relationship between patients and doctors is due for a fundamental re-think. Not less talking, but more. And more listening, too — by patients and doctors. Especially doctors.

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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer is co-hosting Radio Boston while Meghna Chakrabarti is on maternity leave.

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