The Best Medicine: Doctors, Patients, and the Covenant of Caring

Overview

While modern medicine permits today's doctors to dispense far more than compassion, it has also become much more difficult to form a meaningful bond with our doctors. The trend toward depersonalized medicine has been exacerbated by the explosion of managed care. The frustration created by this kind of health care is widespread and felt by doctors and patients alike.

Fortunately, some doctors and patients still fight determinedly to make productive relationships a priority in ...

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Overview

While modern medicine permits today's doctors to dispense far more than compassion, it has also become much more difficult to form a meaningful bond with our doctors. The trend toward depersonalized medicine has been exacerbated by the explosion of managed care. The frustration created by this kind of health care is widespread and felt by doctors and patients alike.

Fortunately, some doctors and patients still fight determinedly to make productive relationships a priority in health care. The stories in The Best Medicine present just a few of these doctor/ patient pairs. The pairs represent a cross-section of America: from a Navajo woman pediatrician and a teacher's aide in Arizona, to a 73-year old New York neurologist and his five-year-old patient. Their stories are inspiring and instructional, antidotes to the frustration that all of us feel about modern medicine.

"...a collection of stories from doctors & patients that show the compassion & excellent treatment of medical professionals."

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
While hurried and impersonal doctor visits may be the norm in managed care, exemplary doctor-patient relationships still exist, as revealed here through brief first-person narratives by 24 caring physicians and their appreciative patients. Magee (The Fifty Most Positive Doctors in America, not reviewed) and Pulitzer-winning journalist D'Antonio (Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America's Nuclear Arsenal, 1993) convened a panel of patients and physicians to define the responsibilities of each. Their recommendations—patients should be truthful, take responsibility, and speak up; doctors should be competent, communicate clearly, listen well, and see their patients as people, not diseases—are reflected in the stories collected here. Most of the physicians in these vignettes were recommended by peers who recognized their special ability to relate to patients. They represent over a dozen states, plus Puerto Rico, and include general practitioners and surgeons as well as specialists in gerontology, psychiatry, oncology, and other fields. Their common bond is the regard they have for the people they treat. Each chapter follows the same pattern: introduction of one or more patients or their parents, who describe a positive experience with the doctor, followed by introduction of the physician, who then talks about his or her approach to patient care in general and to that patient in particular. The stories depict the physicians as perceptive and compassionate, the very sort one would want to meet. Few of the stories are especially memorable, perhaps because they are so brief that the characters in them don't come alive. Two that do stand out concern a plasticsurgeon in Oklahoma and the battered woman whose face and self-confidence she restores at no charge and a doctor in rural Maine who still makes house calls, sometimes to settle domestic disputes. A feel-good read, offering welcome evidence, although purely anecdotal, that satisfactory, even rewarding, doctor-patient relationships continue to thrive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312241841
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents



I.  The Scientists

Dr. Fearless
Stanley Pelofsky, M.D., neurosurgeon, Oklahoma City

Hope and Science
Anthony Rothchild, M.D., psychiatry, Worcester,MA

The Confidence Man
Fredric Frigoletto, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, Boston, MA

Science at Your Service
Shelly Giebel, M.D., gynecologist, Temple, TX

Patience for Pateints
George Hanna, M.D., cardiologist, Providence, RI

The Pioneer
James Bennett, M.D., urologist, Atlanta, GA


II.  The Teachers

Dr. Crusader
Walter M. Bortz, M.D., gerontologist, Palo Alto, CA

Candor, Communications, and Concern
Richard Greene, M.D., dermatologist, Plantation, Fl

Help and Self-Help
Robert L. DuPont, psychiatrist, Bethesda, MD

Home Town Hero
Helen Cappuccino, M.D., general surgeon, Lockport, NY


III.  The Mentors

Physician As Mentor
Greta Rainsford, M.D., pediatrician, Hempstead, NY

The Family Medical Expert
Theodore Wymslo, M.D., general practice, Dayton, OH

Doctor Man
Marsha Raulerson, M.D., pediatrician, Brewton, AL

'Res' Girl, M.D.
Bernadette Freeland-Hyde, M.D., pediatrician, Phoenix, Az


IV.  The Healers

More Than Skin Deep
Lori Hansen, M.D., plastic surgeon, Oklahoma City, OK

Faith, Hope, and Medicine
Ivonne Jimenez, M.D., internist, Carolina, P.R.

Good Karma
Ajay Berdia, M.D., neurologist, Long Island, NY

Never Met a Patient He Didn't Like
Calvin Martin, M.D., general practice, Arcadia, FL

Lessons in Love
Elissa Nicholas, M.D., pediatrician, Long Beach, CA

The Literary Doctor
Clifton Cleaveland, M.D., general practice, Chattanooga, TN


V.  The Friends

All His Children
Arnold Gold, M.D., neurologist, New York, NY

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There
Jamie Van Roen, M.D., oncologist, Chicago

Well-Trained Friends
John Stehlin, M.D., and Peter De De Ipolyi, M.D., cancer surgeons, Houston, TX

How's Everything at Home?
Roger Pelli, D.O., Family Practitioner, Ashland, ME

 

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