Bedside Manners: The Troubled History of Doctors and Patients

Bedside Manners: The Troubled History of Doctors and Patients

by Edward Shorter

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shorter, a University of Toronto history professor who has also studied medicine, here traces the evolution of medical treatment from the sort once provided by family doctors for stoical and sometimes self-dosing patients to the treatment, dominated by technology and drugs, administered by ``postmodern'' physicians to the demanding and skeptical patients of today. The author asserts that while medical knowledge has greatly expanded, patient care is deteriorating because disease-oriented doctors neglect to treat the whole person, including psychogenic ills, as the family doctor used to do. Although Shorter blames the stress of modern lifeand media hypefor an increase in patient symptoms, he also deplores excessive diagnostic tests, impersonal, high-speed interviews and over-prescribing, along with medical schools' purely scientific training. Illustrations not seen by PW. Foreign rights: Marcella Berger, S & S. January 24
Library Journal - Library Journal
This is a fascinating study of the changing relationship between physicians and patients. The author is a history professor at the University of Toronto who has also been trained as a ``special medical student.'' Shorter puts his training as humanist and as scientist to good use as he conceptualizes three stages of evolution in the relations of patients and physicians: traditional medicine, the era of the modern doctor (c.1870-1950), and our present ``postmodern'' era. He characterizes the postmodern period as one of deteriorating relationships: patients are ``doing better but feeling worse'' and are critical and suspicious of their doctors. The text is highly readable, and Shorter uses medical anecdotes extremely well to support his more controverial arguments. The book will appeal to both health-care professionals and informed laypersons. Frances Groen, McGill Univ. Medical Lib., Montreal

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >