BACKGROUND: Effective communication is vital for optimal medical consultation, but there is little current information about physician preferences for effective consultation.
METHODS: We invited physicians with at least one post-graduate year of experience at four Minnesota teaching hospitals to complete a 16-question Internet questionnaire about inpatient consultations.
RESULTS: E-mail requests were received by an estimated 651 physicians. Questionnaires were completed by 323 (50%). Of these, 54% had completed training >5 years before, 17% had completed training
CONCLUSIONS: Physicians agreed on many essential elements for effective consultations. These results should guide efforts to improve communication in the consultation process and design electronic medical record systems.
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