Conclusion

In closing I want to remind the reader of my caveat at the beginning of this chapter: that it is difficult, if not impossible, to learn sound clinical interviewing from a book.

My own most valuable learning about interviewing occurred by observing seasoned clinicians conduct an interview and then discuss why they did what they did. I have tried to present a few basic principles that may be helpful in all cross-cultural settings, but there are many more valuable principles and techniques. In addition, family interviewing and teaching of interviewing were not covered. I have also tried to describe an inner attitude that clinicians should strive to attain: one of self-awareness and examination, caring attention, and honest communication. The final arbiter of our skills, the patient, is always the first to sense our attitudes. This is why it is important to attend carefully to your inner state. I hope the lessons in this chapter will help some of us to be judged less harshly by our patients.

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