- Publisher: International Specialized Book Services
- Number Of Pages: 136
- Publication Date: 1996-06
- ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0868404004
- ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780868404004
‘NEXT PATIENT, PLEASE!’ and then we do our best to diagnose and treat whoever walks in. The consultation is the central activity of medicine, and for some doctors it is the whole of medicine: they never take off their clinical blinkers. What this book does is indicate how a wider outlook can get better resultsbetter use of our limited medical resources, a reduction in the burden of end-stage incurable disease, and it is intellectually more interesting and professionally more satisfying.
‘Why did this patient fall ill now with this disease? How might the illness have been prevented? How many more people are there, out there in the community, with the same condition, undiagnosed? Would screening help? How efficient is the diagnostic process anyway? And can we believe the remarkable therapeutic claims of the glossy advertisements? What really happens to our patients in the longterm?’
Questions such as these extend the horizon of thinking. They make the practice of medicine more interesting, and they help us to move out of the purely passive ‘next patient, please!’ mode into a more informed and critical mode of thinking. They are the starting point for medical planning, setting priorities and making better use of our efforts and resources.
These questions are epidemiological. They should be an integral part of every doctor’s thinking, but to frame them clearly and to get the right answers calls for specific skills and understanding. This book provides them, and it does so in a clear, no-nonsense, readable way. It will help its readers to be more complete doctors.