Masterly inactivity: A forgotten precept

François Mai


When I was a medical student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in the mid-1950s a wise old professor introduced me to the treatment concept of masterly inactivity. Sometimes just waiting and seemingly doing nothing is the favoured therapeutic modality. Over a lifetime in medicine, I have seen many occasions when this approach was successful, and other times when physicians, including myself, have broken this rule with unfortunate and antitherapeutic results. 

Author's affiliations

François Mai, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada

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South African Medical Journal 2015;105(5):332. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.9303

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-09-17
Date published: 2015-09-17

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