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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Who is My Patient? Use of a Brief Writing Exercise to Enhance Residents' Understanding of Physician-Patient Issues


Writing workshops and narrative experiences for medical trainees can be a useful way to approach certain issues in their education. This article describes a brief writing exercise that can be used for physicians in training to help them recognize issues of countertransference in the doctor-patient relationship. While these issues are generally covered as part of residents’ behavioral science curriculum, this exercise allows trainees to use a creative method in order to uncover them. To date, this exercise has been used in two residency programs with residents informally expressing improved understanding of their own experience with patients.

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