Empathy and the Practice of Medicine
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Empathy and the Practice of Medicine by Howard M. Spiro
Book DescriptionThe treatment of medical illness today depends much more on science and technology than on the physician's ability to listen, comfort, and prescribe. Medicine is not only increasingly technical but is also increasingly involved with legal, governmental, and insurance constraints on patient care, and this state of affairs has done much to distance physicians from their patients. This important book seeks to restore empathy to medical practice, to demonstrate how important it is for doctors to listen to their patients, to experience and understand what their patients are feeling. The book-a collection of essays by physicians, philosophers, and a nurse-is divided into three parts: one deals with how empathy is weakened or lost during the course of medical education and suggests how to remedy this; another describes the historical and philosophical origins of empathy and provides arguments for and against it; and a third section offers compelling accounts of how physicians' empathy for their patients has affected their own lives and the lives of those in their care. We hear, for example, from a physician working in a hospice who relates the ways that the staff tries to listen and respond to the needs of the dying; a scientist who interviews candidates for medical school and tells how qualities of empathy are undervalued by selection committees; a health professional who considers what her profession can teach physicians about empathy; another physician who ponders whether the desire to be empathic can hinder the detachment necessary for objective care; and several contributors who show how literature and art can help physicians to develop empathy. Medicine, asserts most of these authors, is both science and narrative, reason and intuition. Empathy underlies the qualities of the humanistic physician and must frame the skills of all professionals who care for patients.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300066708
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 4-Mar-1996
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Howard M. Spiro
Yale Guide to Careers in Medicine and the Health Professions, Paperback (April 2003)
A guide for anyone pondering a career in medicine or a related health profession. It contains the advice of more than 70 medical and health professionals, from nurses to biomedical researchers, who describe how and why they made their career choices and what the journey has been like.
Doctors Afield, Hardback (October 1999)
Examines the lives of 27 physicians (21 men and six women) who have combined the aim to heal with other pursuits such as art, writing, music or politics. Their testimonies illustrate the personal gratification and inspiration that can be gained from integrating medicine with another activity.
Power of Hope, Paperback (December 1998)
This study advocates a method of helping patients with a combination of alternative and mainstream medicine - a treatment of mind, body, and spirit that energizes patients. Spiro encourages physicians to talk and listen to their patients, and to employ alternative approaches.
Facing Death, Paperback (November 1998)» View all books by Howard M. Spiro
While technology for keeping death at bay has advanced greatly, people are less well informed about how to face death and how to understand or articulate the emotional or spiritual need of the dying. This work aims to help medical personnel and patients to view death as a defining part of life.
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