Doctor to doctor: Writing and talking about patients

Essays on communication in medicine


Published: 01/01/1984

ISBN: 0900574437

Download the report [PDF 3.1MB]

This is the second of three pamphlets planned in the current phase of The Trustees' policy to seek to improve the quality of communication and so of patient care. The first was Talking with Patients, published in 1980, which sought to foster improvement in communication between doctors and patients.

Doctor to Doctor is concerned with communication between members of the medical profession. It differs in form from its predecessor in that it is made up of a series of essays by members of the working party who are practitioners in various specialities including general practice, but all the essays are connected in that they are concerned with the fundamental and sensitive inter-relationships which make up the comprehensiveness of medical practice in the modern world.

The common thread of principle running through all the contributions stresses the need for courtesy and clarity in written (and other forms of) communications to express the patient's problems and to put succinctly the questions to which explicit and prompt answers are sought to ensure efficacy of practice. In the Epilogue Professor Fletcher, who is a member of the working party who are responsible for the collection, points to areas where further research is needed.

Suggested citation

Walton J and McLachlan G (1984) Doctor to doctor: Writing and talking about patients. Nuffield Trust.