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Answer from the editors to comment on the article “Reflection on the concept of communication...”

How to cite this article: Ramiro-H M, Vivas O. Answer from the editors to comment on the article “Reflection on the concept of communication...”. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2016;54(1):75-76.



Answer from the editors to comment on the article “Reflection on the concept of communication...”

Manuel Ramiro-H.,a Omar Vivasa

aRevista Médica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, División de Innovación Educativa, Coordinación de Educación en Salud, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Distrito Federal, México.


We write this note in relation to the comments sent by Dr. María Elena Hoyo regarding the article "Reflections on the concept of communication: second international goal of patient safety," by Dr. Joel Medrano-Mariscal.1 These comments are actually directed at the editorial team of the Revista Médica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. The doctor scolds us for having missed the author’s mistake when he supposedly misspelled the verb aprehender in the following context:

Partimos de la premisa de reconocer al otro, de entender su contexto y aprehenderlo, para que en un futuro sea elaborado un diagnóstico comunicacional...

According to her we should have written aprenderlo, in the second line of the second paragraph of the text. We understood that the concept expressed by Dr. Medrano-Mariscal had to do with aprehender; in the original it was written correctly and referred to the fact of establishing effective communication with patients as part of patient safety. We must say that is an editorial policy of the journal to maintain, as far as is possible without transgressing grammatical rules and much less spelling, the language of the author, since they are the one responsible; standardizing the language, even in a scientific journal, ends up impoverishing it. As for aprehender, it is true that most well-known concept, the first appearing in dictionaries, is "to stop, especially a criminal",2 or "the product of an illicit act" or "to take someone prisoner." But it also means, a concept that we believed the author wanted to express, "to assimilate or understand an idea or knowledge completely" or "to understand or discern something",2 or "to get to know, to conceive of the species of things without judging them, without affirming or denying";3 or "to perceive with the senses or intelligence".4 Although Marina and López Penas do not mention the word aprehender in their Dictionary of feelings, they tell us that "words weave intermingled relations, always surprising us with their insight, and intriguing us with their metaphors".5 Although we do not agree with Dr. Hoyo, we appreciate her note and the opportunity to explain ourselves.

  1. Medrano-Mariscal J. Reflexiones sobre el concepto de comunicación: segunda meta internacional de seguridad del paciente. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc 2015;53(4):518-22.
  2. The Free Dictionary [en español]. Aprehender. Disponible en [Consultado el 3 de diciembre de 2015.]
  3. Real Academia Española. Diccionario de la Lengua Española. Aprehender. 22nd edition. Madrid: Espasa Calpe; 2001. p. 187.
  4. María Moliner. Diccionario de Uso del Español. Aprehender. 2a edición. Madrid: Gredos; 2002. p. 220.
  5. Marina JA, López Penas M. Diccionario de los sentimientos. Barcelona: Anagrama; 1999.

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