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A Message for Doctors

April 13, 1986

I read Dave Larsen's article, "Analyzing Artists and Their Ailments" (March 25) with great pleasure. I hope some of the doctors who read it will get the message and try to infuse the sense of humanism and warmth in their practices that Dr. Peter Chopivsky has been able to do so successfully at his practice at the UCLA Family Health Center. It is very true that doctors today are so busy and hassled that they do not take time to pause, to observe, to look at their patients as whole persons and to establish some sort of rapport. For us patients, doctors play such an important role in our lives that we begin to expect a little more from them than only finding cures for our ailments, (but rather) something a little like the role the family doctors played in our parents' lives when they made their house visits and chatted over a cup of coffee.

I have known Dr. Chopivsky, as his patient, for four years. He is a rare doctor who allows himself that pause--like the old-time family doctor--to observe, to communicate. If the reason he cares so much for his patients is not only because of his warm and affectionate personality but because he had the opportunity to study great artists who are skillful observers of life, then maybe we should have such seminars as part of the curriculum in medical schools. We might be able to train more caring doctors.

SEMA BASOL

Los Angeles

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