Patriarchs on pedestals? How doctors are taught to improve their bedside manner

Up until around 30 years ago, in the days of paper patient files, doctors were on pedestals and patients generally did as they were told, in a more patriarchal model of patient care.

Over 2400 years ago, Hippocrates wrote: "The physician ought also to be confidential, very chaste, sober, not a winebibber, and he ought to be fastidious in everything, for this is what the profession demands."

Since Hippocrates, bedside manners have varied greatly.

From low points during early 18th-century England, when a motley crew of physicians, barber