Research has shown that sitting down at a patient's bedside can help doctors make a personal connection and boost patient satisfaction, writes Dr. John Henning Schumann, a primary care physician who teaches at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine. Doctors should introduce themselves, ask open-ended questions of their patients, explain their role in the patient's care and make physical contact, even if only to shake hands, Schumann writes. "These behaviors are what constitute 'bedside manner,'" says Dr. Leonard Feldman, who led a Johns Hopkins University study on doctor-patient interactions.

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