In the Hands of Doctors: Touch and Trust in Medical Care

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9781440850776: In the Hands of Doctors: Touch and Trust in Medical Care
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Written by a highly respected medical historian, this book examines how and why medical caring―including the role of touch and procedure in caregiving―has evolved in recent decades and how these changes have affected doctor-patient trust as well as patient health and the "health" of the current medical system.


· Draws on medical history since the early 19th century to demonstrate how the procedural aspects of medicine are foundational to trusting doctor-patient relationships

· Examines how the diminished authority of physicians as decision makers and consumerization of medical services have complicated caregiving

· Provides concrete proposals for reinvigorating primary care medicine by developing a new primary care specialty and making better use of nurse practitioners and other nonphysician providers

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About the Author:

A Yale-trained historian of ideas, Paul E. Stepansky, PhD, served as managing director of The Analytic Press for 23 years. He is a faculty member of the DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Review:

"An engaging, richly documented, brilliant critique of the bond between doctor and patient, ranging from classical times through the present. The need for the bond continues, Stepansky argues; patients trust doctors, not teams, medical homes, or health care systems. Along the way he discusses what it means to 'care' for someone as a professional, whether empathy can be taught, the narrowed scope of family medicine as a field, and how far science and the procedural aspects of medicine are antagonistic to, or simply part of, the humanity inherent in medicine. He offers his own ideas for change. This is a superb introduction to the role of the doctor in a continuing historical context." (Rosemary Stevens, PhD, DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Scholar, Weill Cornell Medical College, and author, A Time of Scandal: Charles R. Forbes, Warren G. Harding and the Making of the Veterans Bureau)

"Paul Stepansky's In the Hands of Doctors is a unique and compelling reexamination of American medical practice and patient expectations in historical and cultural context. Examining the many ways in which we seek health, literally from the doctor's touch, Stepansky draws on his skills as a respected cultural historian and his perspective growing up the son of a rural general practitioner in the 1950s and 1960s. The result is a multilayered, nuanced, and accessible study that focuses on what physicians have offered and patients have sought, especially since the Second World War. Stepansky laments the impact of specialization on what he terms 'true doctoring,' even while recognizing its great benefit in treating illness. Eschewing nostalgia while acknowledging the complexity of today's health care delivery, Stepansky nevertheless offers a way back to the type of care his father provided. This book deserves a wide audience not only of health practitioners and patients, but also of medical historians and medical humanities scholars." (Howard I. Kushner, PhD, Nat C. Robertson Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University)

"In the Hands of Doctors is an original contribution to medical history and, in addition, a book that will appeal to all those in the caring professions: psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and others. Dr. Stepansky gives new meaning to the roles of touch, empathy, and friendship as these are involved in medical practice, and he presents original ideas about the shape of such practice as it moves into the next decades. In short, a clearly written and profoundly argued book." (Louis Breger, PhD, Professor of Psychoanalytic Studies, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology)

"One of the greatest challenges confronting 21st-century medical education is how to train physicians who are not only competent but also compassionate, and who know how to demonstrate that caring to the patient. In this engaging and deeply personal book, Paul Stepansky gives us a valuable historical perspective on caring in medicine and offers suggestions that will be useful for medical educators, practicing physicians, nurse practitioners, and patients alike." (Joel D. Howell M.D., PhD, Victor Vaughan Professor of the History of Medicine, University of Michigan)

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9780983080770: In the Hands of Doctors: Touch and Trust in Medical Care

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ISBN 10:  0983080771 ISBN 13:  9780983080770
Publisher: Keynote Books, LLC, 2017
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