The Medical Interview,
Edition 3 The Three Function Approach with STUDENT CONSULT Online Access
By Steven A. Cole, MD and Julian Bird, MA (CANTAB), FRCP, FRCPSYCH

Publication Date: 17 Dec 2013

The Medical Interview by Drs. Steven A. Cole and Julian Bird equips you to communicate effectively with your patients so you can provide optimal care! This best-selling, widely adopted resource presents a practical, systematic approach to honing your basic interviewing skills and managing common challenging communicating situations. Its Three-Function Approach – "Build the Relationship," "Assess and Understand," and Collaborative Management" offers straightforward tasks, behaviors, and skills that can be easily mastered, making this an ideal learning tool for beginners and a valuable reference for experienced healthcare professionals.

Key Features

  • Effectively meet a full range of communication challenges including language and cultural barriers, sexual issues, elderly patients, breaking bad news, and non-adherence.

New Features

  • Easily apply proven techniques with help from supportive case examples and actual interview questions.
  • Get the skills you need now with new chapters covering advanced topics and applications including "Presentation and Documentation," nonverbal communication, using psychological principles in medical practice, and integrating structure and function.
  • Quickly review information with summary tables, boxes and bulleted lists.
  • Get access on the go with the fully searchable text online at Student Consult, including cost-free access to a specially customized, interactive web-based Module on Brief Action Planning (BAP), a key component of the web-based, interactive Comprehensive Motivational Interventions (CMI)™ e-learning platform.
About the author
By Steven A. Cole, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Emeritus Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Renaissance School of Medicine Stony Brook University; Julian Bird, MA (CANTAB), FRCP, FRCPSYCH, Lately Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry; Guy's, Kings and St. Thomas' School of Medicine; University of London and London, United Kingdom
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Three Functions Of The Medical Interview

  1. Learning to Interview Using the Three Function Approach
  2. Why Three Functions?
  3. Function 1: Build The Relationship  
  4. Function 2: Assess and Understand
  5. Function 3: Collaborative Management

II.Meeting the Patient

6. Ten Common Concerns

III. Structure of the Interview

7. Opening The Interview

8. Chief Complaint, Problem Survey, Patient Perspective, And Agenda Setting

9. History Of Present Illness

10, Past Medical History

  1. Family History
  2. Patient Profile And Social History
  3. Review Of Systems
  4. Mental Status

IV. Presentation and Documentation

15. Presentation and Documentation

V. Understanding Patients’ Emotional Responses to Chronic Illness

16. Understanding Chronic Illness: Normal Reactions

17. Understanding Chronic Illness: Maladaptive Reactions

VI Advanced Applications

18. Stepped-Care Advanced Skills for Action Planning

19. Chronic Illness

20. Health Literacy and Communicating Complex Information for Decision-


21. Sexual Issues in the Interview

22. Interviewing Elderly Patients

23. Culturally Competent Medical Interviewing

24. Family Interviewing

25.Troubling Personality Styles and Somatization

26. Communicating with the Psychotic Patient

27. Breaking Bad News

27 (a). Sharing Difficult or "Bad" News: A Nine-Step Transactional Process of Transformation

28. Disclosure of Medical Errors and Apology

29. Alcohol And Risky Drinking


30. Nonverbal Communication

31. Use of the Self in Medical Care

32. Using Psychological Principles in the Medical Interview

33. Integrating Structure and Function

Appendix 1: Table of skills

Appendix 2: BAP Guide

Book Reviews

"The three function model is a profound bedrock to provide footing for a medical communication course. It is simple at its most basic level and applicable to any discipline or subspecialty a young trainee would decide to pursue. Thus, it is widely applicable to medical school educators…the model is equally applicable to graduate and post graduate level educators and clinicians who want to advance their skills. There are few medical texts out there that can have such wide appeal and effectiveness. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to any medical educator who has a need to both learn and teach patient-physician communication."

-Joseph S. Weiner, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Medicine, Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine


"In over 20 years of teaching interviewing skills to medical students I have consistently relied on The Medical Interview: The Three Function Approach as a key resource. The combination of humanism, intellectually rigorous biopsychosocial perspective, and clinical pragmatism makes it a uniquely relevant and accessible text. Students have no trouble grasping and applying the three-function structure as a tool for observing, critiquing and improving interview skills in themselves and their peers during our observed interview sessions. The introduction of motivational interviewing concepts in the third edition is a welcome addition."

-Roy M. Stein, M.D., Associate Professor, Duke University School of Medicine


Book details
ISBN: 9780323052214
Page Count: 338
Illustrations : Illustrated
Retail Price : £26.99
0-443-07411-9, 978-0-443-07411-0, Lloyd & Bor: Communication Skills in Medicine, 2e, Apr-2004