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IN PRACTICE

For physicians and patients, time is best medicine

Just before a colleague retired, I asked him if he could tell me how medicine had changed during his long career. He could, he said. In one word: time.

“Back in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said, “I spent at least an hour with a patient who came in for an annual physical and half an hour for a follow-up or an urgent call.” That’s twice as long as I’m allotted — and my practice is more generous than most.

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