Description: This is an academic treatise on the primary interactions between clinicians and patients. The previous edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The book discusses many aspects of clinician interactions with patients, mentees, and peers. Medicine has seen many such discussions, impacting admissions to medical schools, which have moved from an emphasis on scientifically-minded students to consideration of humanities-oriented students and oscillating between these extremes. This book continues this discussion.
Audience: This is a book for academics. It provokes thought about the journey medicine has taken and where it should go in the future.
Features: The chapters are based upon the editors' construct of what they define as the patient-centered clinical method. The book is divided into five parts: an introduction; a four-part section on different aspects of the model and how they interact; a section on teaching and learning; a section on some of the social aspects of medicine such as financial considerations; and, finally, some quantitative and qualitative measures. The book defines the many terms used and, by doing so, significantly defines the parameters of the discussions but also makes some of the discussions disconnected from the reality of the practice of medicine. While it elevates the issues from the practicalities of daily practice, it does stimulate much thought. One drawback is that it stays away from current discussions of government involvement in healthcare; it would be interesting to add this dimension as there is significant relevant history on both sides of the Atlantic.
Assessment: As noted, this is a serious academic book for policy makers, academicians, those involved in medical school admissions committees, and those in the social sciences.