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ss triple helix - summer 2002,  Thinking About Patients (Book Review)

Thinking About Patients (Book Review)

Thinking About Patients - David Misselbrook - Petroc Press 2001 - £29.95 Pb 214pp ISBN 1900603497

This book, by a Christian GP and VTS Course Organiser in South London, is written to promote a multi-dimensional model of medicine. The first four chapters explore the changing role of medicine in society, looking at its scope, achievements and problems as we find them at the beginning of the twenty first century. The doctor's model of disease is contrasted with the patient's model of illness, and there is a discussion of how the doctor's world is constructed. The ways in which the patient's world differs from this construction is considered at some length.

The next four chapters describe the non bio-mechanical elements of a multidimensional medical model, and how disease, illness and medical activity can only be truly understood when our social and cultural programming, as well as our individual thinking, are included in the total picture. The final chapter poses questions about the role and future of medicine.

It is an enjoyable book to read, well structured with clear summaries at the beginning and extensive references at the end of each chapter. Brief book reviews are scattered throughout. The author's wit and humour, as well as his impressively wide reading, are also evident. Although it covers little new or original ground, it contains comprehensive references to key source material that would be very helpful for someone less familiar with this terrain. It will be of interest to all Christian GPs as it is encouraging to read the thoughtful reflections of other Christians struggling with the demanding realities of life in the National Health Service today.

Reviewed by:
Huw Morgan
General Practitioner and GP Trainer in Bristol

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