The Lost Art of Healing

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Never Before has medicine had the capacity to do so much good, yet never have people been so disenchanted with their doctors. The problem is that doctors have lost the art of healing, which involves much more than diagnostic skills and the ability to mobilize technology. At its core is the doctor-patient relationship, and in this provocative book one of our most distinguished physicians draws on forty years of experience to show how vitally important that relationship is. Dr. Lown offers a new paradigm: medicine ...
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9/30/1996 Hardcover New in new dust jacket. NEW condition--Fast ship and satisfaction always guaranteed.

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Overview

Never Before has medicine had the capacity to do so much good, yet never have people been so disenchanted with their doctors. The problem is that doctors have lost the art of healing, which involves much more than diagnostic skills and the ability to mobilize technology. At its core is the doctor-patient relationship, and in this provocative book one of our most distinguished physicians draws on forty years of experience to show how vitally important that relationship is. Dr. Lown offers a new paradigm: medicine with a human face, in which the art of healing is just as important as the mastery of medical techniques. This approach can cure as many ills as all the wonders of modern technology, and it can contain costs more readily than any health care reform plan.

"...rpmotes the humanity of medicine along with the science ...a healthy doctor-patient relationship aids in healing as much as modern technology, extensive knowledge, and adroit surgical skill."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Too many well-trained, well-credentialed doctors fail to take a careful patient history, indulge in rampant overuse of technology and excessively prescribe drugs that result in death or disability, charges Lown, a cardiologist and professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School. In these gracefully written essays, full of interesting vignettes and case studies drawn from his 45 years of practice, he urges doctors to practice attentive listening, to desist from using intimidating language and to pay attention to the emotional stresses in patients' lives. Keeping an open mind toward alternative medicine, Lown describes his partially successful treatment in China with acupuncture for his severe back pain. He also looks at the challenges of caring for the elderly and shares helpful insights on death and dying. His stimulating inquiry is sound medicine for doctors and patients alike. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Despite huge technological advancements, today's medicine is in a state of crisis, claims Lown (professor emeritus in cardiology at Harvard and cofounder of Physicians Against Nuclear War). Emphasizing that nothing can replace listening and careful history taking, Lown laments that doctors have now substituted technology for taking time with the patient, shifting their medical focus from healing the patient to curing the disease. In a teaching style reminiscent of Sir William Osler, Lown extracts from his 50 years of medical practice case histories and examples of the clinical wisdom that enable a doctor to comprehend essential medical problems. Despite his Oslerian call to return today's depersonalized medicine to the art of doctoring, he evinces little optimism that his wisdom will be heeded in this age of Medicare and managed care. Recommended for all medical collections.James Swanton, Harlem Hospital Lib., New York
Kirkus Reviews
The engaging memoirs of a distinguished physician who uses human interest stories to get across his message that healing the patient must once again be the focus of medicine.

A cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a co-founder of Physicians Against Nuclear War, Lown has some 45 years of experience in doctor-patient relations. In his view the crisis in health care today isn't about ballooning costs or malpractice suits but about the fact that "medicine has lost its way if not its soul." His central thesis is that the medical profession has been losing its focus on healing, due in part to a romance with high technology. Lown, whose career has encompassed both research and clinical practice, acknowledges wryly that his own cardiological research has facilitated what he most deplores: the advance of technology and with it the depersonalization of medicine. Dr. Samuel A. Levine, Lown's mentor, appears in many of the stories here, for it was he who early on shaped Lown's ideas of what doctoring was all about. Stories featuring Levine demonstrate how the best diagnosticians combine the science of history-taking with the art of listening to the patient, and it is Levine who shows how the words a physician chooses can have a powerful impact on a patient's well-being. Lown, who has passed his 70th birthday, writes with compassion about the challenges of caring for the elderly, and his essay on death and dying should be required reading for all would-be doctors.

Thoughtful essays and thought-provoking stories offering hope that medicine has not yet entirely lost its human face.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395825259
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/30/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
1 The Science of History-Taking and the Art of Listening 3
2 Listening through Touching 23
3 Mind and Heart 29
4 Munchausen's Syndrome 48
5 Words That Maim 61
6 Words That Heal 78
7 Hearts of Darkness, Words of Light 90
8 The Power of Certainty 106
9 Extraordinary Healing Techniques 121
10 Malpractice Corrupts Healing 139
11 Digitalis: The Price of Invention 161
12 A New Medical Tradition 176
13 The Shock That Cures: DC and Cardioversion 188
14 The Coronary Care Unit 202
15 The Ventricular Extrasystole: Heartthrob or Harbinger? 213
16 Caring for the Elderly: Problems and Challenges 227
17 Death and Dying 263
18 A Modern Hasidic Tale 295
19 Getting Doctors to Listen 313
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2001

    'Visions of Tomorrow Through the Eyes of Today' tlp

    UM-Saint Louis Optometry School taught me the science of doctoring; Dr. Lown taught me the art of becoming a great doctor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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