South Med J. 2021 Mar;114(3):156-160. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001216.
Bedside manner, a doctor's deportment with a patient, encompasses all aspects of the patient interaction, including all verbal and nonverbal communication strategies. Bedside manner can be a powerful adjunct for healing. In academic medical centers, trainees generally learn bedside manner by observing their attendings and mentors-in other words, as part of the "hidden curriculum." Because bedside manner is a critical component in the art of healing, it can be threatened by pressures on time in managing inpatients and by the explosion of technology. This article assembles an inventory of best bedside practices for inpatient care. Eight best bedside practices were identified by reviewing the literature, collecting the personal experiences of the authors, and consulting a group of attendings whom the authors regarded as exemplary clinicians. This inventory is presented with the goal of expanding clinicians' repertoire of best practices and encouraging explicit teaching of these practices to optimize care.