Accepting the Challenge

Eric J. Cassell

in The Nature of Clinical Medicine

Published in print November 2014 | ISBN: 9780199974863
Published online November 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780190219024 | DOI:
Accepting the Challenge

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In clinical medicine, the problems are not just diseases but the persons in trouble because of sickness, disease, malnutrition, dementia, inadequate finances, or a combination of these factors. Currently, medicine is still focused on diseases, not persons, so it treats patients inadequately. In this chapter the author speaks from his own experience. The author challenges new physicians with questions pertinent to their profession: Do you want to be the clinician of this book? What do you want from medicine? What is the price for just “going with the flow?” The joy of medicine is patients. Skills, knowledge, and getting better at it are also involved. Medicine has special habits of mind that allow clinicians to work with the very sick and dying, and in the process, equanimity and imperturbability are learned. Closeness and relationships with patients-their management, utility, pleasures, and dangers-are also discussed in this chapter. Clinicians through the ages have cared for sick patients and have loved their difficult lives, for good reasons.

Keywords: joy of medicine; skills; knowledge; habits of mind; relationships with patients; clinician

Chapter.  6889 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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