Bedside Manners: The Troubled History of Doctors and Patients

Edward Shorter, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (316p) ISBN 978-0-671-53254-3
Shorter, a University of Toronto history professor who has also studied medicine, here traces the evolution of medical treatment from the sort once provided by family doctors for stoical and sometimes self-dosing patients to the treatment, dominated by technology and drugs, administered by ""postmodern'' physicians to the demanding and skeptical patients of today. The author asserts that while medical knowledge has greatly expanded, patient care is deteriorating because disease-oriented doctors neglect to treat the whole person, including psychogenic ills, as the family doctor used to do. Although Shorter blames the stress of modern lifeand media hypefor an increase in patient symptoms, he also deplores excessive diagnostic tests, impersonal, high-speed interviews and over-prescribing, along with medical schools' purely scientific training. Illustrations not seen by PW. Foreign rights: Marcella Berger, S & S. January 24
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Paperback - 978-0-671-63309-7
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