Dr. Michael Kahn, from our Department of Pyschiatry, has published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggests that doctors enhance their relationship with patients when they deal with patients in a polite manner. Here is a summary on the AOL web site, along with a poll on the issue. I like this summary: Etiquette-based medicine . . . "would put professionalism and patient satisfaction at the center of the clinical encounter and bring back some of the elements of ritual that have always been an important part of the healing profession."
NEJM has published the entire article as freely available to the public here. This is a very polite thing for them to have done, and I thank them.