The Language of Medicine The Language of Medicine

The Language of Medicine

    • $38.99
    • $38.99

Publisher Description

Language exercises a powerful impact on medical care as the words that physicians use with patients have the power to heal or harm. The practice of medicine is shaped by the potent metaphors that are prevalent in clinical care, especially military metaphors and the words of war that bring with them unfortunate consequences for patients and physicians alike. Physicians who fight disease turn the patient into a passive battlefield. Patients are encouraged to remain stoic, blamed for "failing" chemotherapy and sadly remembered in heroic obituaries of lost battles. The search for disease as enemy shifts the doctor's gaze to the computer and imaging technologies that render the patient transparent, unseen and unheard. Modern treatments save lives but patients can be the victims of collateral damage and friendly fire.

In The Language of Medicine, Abraham Fuks, physician, medical educator, and former Dean of Medicine at McGill University, shows us how words are potent drugs that must be tailored to the individual patient and applied in carefully chosen and measured doses to offer benefits and avoid toxicity. The book shines a light on our culture that deprecates the skill of listening that is, paradoxically, the attribute that patients most desire of their doctors. Societal metronomes beat rapidly and compress clinic visits into stroboscopic encounters that leave patients puzzled, fearful and uncertain.

Building on research about physicians in practice, the experiences of patients, stories of medical students as well as the history of medicine, Dr. Fuks promotes an ideal of clinical practice that is achieved by humble physicians who provide time and space for listening, select words with care, and choose metaphors that engender healing.

Professional & Technical
September 6
Oxford University Press
The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford trading as Oxford University Press

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