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Accordingly, Volume I focuses on the workings of spoken language in the clinical setting. It analyzes such important aspects of speech as paralanguage (non-word phenomenon like pause, pitch, and speech rate), how patients describe themselves and their illnesses, the logic of conversation, and the levels of meanings of words.
Volume II is a practical, detailed, how to guide that demonstrates the process of history taking and how the doctor can learn the most from the information that the patient has to offer. His arguments are amply illustrated in both volumes by transcripts of real interactions between patients and their doctors.
Eric J. Cassell, M.D., an internist and clinical director of the Program for the Study of Ethics and Values in Medicine at Cornell Medical School, is widely recognized in the medical field for his contributions to communications in medicine and for his writings on ethics. Talking With Patients is the result of more than ten years of research. His first book, The Healer's Art, has achieved the statusof an underground classic.