Not long ago, “bedside manner” was a physician’s most potent medicine. Now that skill has dwindled to bland, generic amiability, and has been all but lost behind today’s compelling healthcare technology. The bedside manner’s shrinkage would be tolerable if medical high tech could cure everything, but these amazing tools are alarmingly cost-ineffective in treating most patientsthose who suffer from chronic, incurable illnesses and the effects of detrimental lifestyles. Paying far too much for too little return, Americans are understandably demanding healthcare reform, which we’re told lies in rearranging national finances. But beyond financial adjustment, authentic reform will have to come from reinstating ancient, intimate healing relationships between patient and doctor.
Healing Healthcare describes how we arrived at this sorry impasse and where we need to go with a system that is as damaging to its doctors as it is to patients. Dr. Jeff Kane pinpoints and examines America’s love affair with medical technology, insistence on evading death at any cost, and practice of enabling unhealthy lifestyles. At its heart, Healing Healthcare shows that healing can begin only once doctors see patients clearly as individuals, and that through intimate contact, suffering can be productively treated.
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About the Author
Jeff Kane, MD, fascinated by his patients’ stories, began limiting his practice in the mid-1970s to facilitating cancer support groups. He founded the support programs at Sutter Cancer Center in Sacramento and Sierra Nevada Cancer Center in Grass Valley, California, and teaches medical practitioners bedside manner in workshops nationally. He is the author of several book and dozens of periodical articles on the healing relationship. He lives in Nevada City, California, with his wife, Ronnie Paul.