The Human Side Of Medicine / Edition 1

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At a time of great change in the technology and delivery of medical care, the timelessness and permanence of the non-technical aspects of medicine—the human side—are of profound value to patients and physicians alike. With more than 30 years of medical practice, teaching, advising, and mentoring medical students and undergraduates, Savett champions two premises: first, that the importance of physicians mastering the human side of medicine is as critical as learning its biology and technology; and second, that this can be taught. Attending to the human side refines diagnosis and treatment by recognizing the uniqueness of each patient's experience, and it enriches the experience for all those in the caring professions. Physicians who have always put their patients' interests first and never compromised their professional values have preserved their identity, vitality, and enthusiasm as caring doctors. This is a book about what keeps the practice of medicine stimulating: not fascinating cases, but fascinating people and relationships, the best reasons to enter medicine. Savett believes that learning about the human side of medicine will help to attract talented and compassionate people to a career in medicine and will provide a context for later learning in medical school, and that teaching the human side of medicine as a primary subject is critical to become a good doctor. The community of patients is the ultimate beneficiary. Essential reading for all students considering the profession of medicine as well as practicing physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Savett practiced primary care internal medicine for 30 years, and now teaches about the psychological and social dimensions of medicine and the doctor-patient relationship at the U. of Minnesota Medical School, and at Macalester College and the U. of St. Thomas. The text includes extensive excerpts of articles published in various journals, most in the past decade. Savett draws on his own experiences and those of his students, patients, and medical colleagues in reflecting on the nontechnical part of medicine. For students beginning to consider a medical career, medical students and residents, medical educators, practicing and retired physicians, other medical professionals and staff working with patients, and patients. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865693197
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 920,128
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

LAURENCE A. SAVETT, M.D. practiced primary care internal medicine in Gloucester, Massachusetts and St. Paul, Minnesota for 30 years. Dr. Savett teaches about the psychological and social dimensions of medicine and the doctor-patient relationship at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he is Clinical Professor of Medicine, and at Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas, where he helps advise pre-med and other pre-health professional students. He has served on the admissions committee of the University of Minnesota Medical School and the board of the Central Region of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Defining the Human Side of Medicine and Identifying the Audience
Pt. I What It's Like to Be a Patient
1 Medical Care Starts with the Patient's Story 3
2 Learning from End-of-Life Stories 19
3 Time 27
4 Learning from Patients' Experiences 31
5 Learning from Students' Experiences 37
6 Learning about Uncertainty 43
7 Learning How Patients Handle Illness 51
Pt. II What It's Like to Be a Physician
8 A Day in the Life of Physician 59
9 The Medical History 71
10 Diagnosis: How Physicians Reason 81
11 Treatment and Prognosis 93
12 Medicine Is a Collaborative Profession 97
13 Rituals 109
14 Language and Communication 111
15 What Can Go Wrong 121
16 The Physician as Professional 131
17 Values and Dealing with Change 143
18 Becoming a Physician: The Evolution of a Career 151
Pt. III The Doctor-Patient Relationship
19 The Qualities of the Doctor-Patient Relationship 163
20 What Can Go Wrong with the Doctor-Patient Relationship 173
21 Addressing Some of the Myths about the Doctor-Patient Relationship 179
Pt. IV The Human Side of Medicine: Bringing It All Together
22 Another Look at a Day in the Life of a Physician 187
Pt. V Teaching the Human Side of Medicine
23 Teaching the Human Side of Medicine 217
Pt. VI Summing Up
24 Fashioning the Best System of Medical Care Possible: What Would Be Ideal for the Patient; What Would Be Ideal for the Physician 229
25 Epilogue and My Personal Journey 239
App Outline of the "Seminar in the Human Side of Medicine" Course at Macalester College 247
Notes 253
Selected Bibliography 259
Index 261
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