When you should interrupt your patient

The accepted wisdom that doctors should not interrupt their patients is totally impractical, a veteran medical educator says.

Despite much of the literature claiming that interruptions are taboo, Professor Emeritus Larry Mauksch, from the University of Washington, US, argues that, in fact, some interruptions improve the quality of care and help make better use of time for both doctor and patient.

While he acknowledges that “skillful listening” is fundamental, Professor Mauksch, who has been teaching clinicians communication skills for three decades, is also an advocate of