Sexual History Taking
Perhaps the most neglected area of medical education today involves a lack of support in assisting clinicians to develop comfort while inquiring about the personal details of their patients’ lives. When required to ask about the color, quantity, and consistency of both stools and sputum, the beginning physician quickly adapts those questions into a routine part of a review of systems and would not delete them from the history. Unless questions about patients’ sexual activity, finances, religion, marital relationships, drug use, and conflicts with legal authorities are explored in depth, important information will be omitted from the data base with which the clinician works. The sexual history must become a part of the routine of the health-care provider’s complete work-up. Just as one does not inquire about urine color to a patient brought into an emergency room with a massive laceration to the head until the bleeding is stemmed, sexual information must be woven into the routine questions that a clinician asks.
KeywordsSexual Behavior Sexual Activity Sexual Function Sexual Functioning Sexual History
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