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History-taking and interviewing

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

To interview and take a history successfully, a GP needs to:

  • introduce self to the patient
  • put the patient at ease
  • listen attentively
  • seek clarification of words used by the patient
  • phrase questions simply and clearly
  • use silence appropriately
  • recognise verbal and non-verbal cues
  • identify the patient's reasons for consulting
  • elicit relevant and specific information from the patient and/or records to help choose from possible diagnoses
  • consider physical, psychological and social factors as appropriate
  • show a well-organised approach to information-gathering (see 'interviewing skills' esp Calgary-Cambridge guide)

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