Study: doctors should not shake patients' hands - New York News

Study: doctors should not shake patients' hands

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Shaking hands is part of our culture. But a new report appearing in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, says doctors should stop shaking their patients' hands because of the risk of spreading germs.

Dr. Mark Sklansky at the University of California, Los Angeles co-authored the report. He says doctors shaking patients' hands may be just as dangerous as smoking in public. He says they evaluated numerous studies on the issue of handshaking a reached several conclusions. One is that handshake-free zones should be established to protect vulnerable patients. He says researchers found that only 40 percent of doctors wash their hands and that the alcohol-based gels to clean your hands don't kill most organisms.

Dr. Len Horovitz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side, says he agrees that not shaking hands could help prevent the spread of disease. He also says there are other ways we can greet one another, as other cultures do, such as bowing, hand over heart, open palm, and Namaste.

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