Doctors Advised to Stop Interrupting and Listen Fri Sep 27,10:57 AM ET LONDON (Reuters) - Doctors should keep quiet and let patients explain their problems instead of interrupting them, Swiss scientists said Friday. Most patients can explain what is wrong with them in less than two minutes and many may even be swifter, according to Dr. Wolf Langewitz of University Hospital in Basle. But research from the United States has shown that doctors usually start talking after about 22 seconds. "Doctors do not risk being swamped by their patients' complaints if they listen until a patient indicates that his or her list of complaints is complete," Langewitz said in a report in the British Medical Journal. When he and his colleagues used a hidden stopwatch to time patients until they were finished talking, the average time was 92 seconds, although elderly patients tended to take longer. "Even in a busy practice driven by time constraints and financial pressure, two minutes of listening should be possible and will be sufficient for nearly 80 percent of patients," Langewitz added.