The Finest Traditions Of My Calling: One Physician?s Search For The Renewal Of Medicine

Hardcover | March 22, 2016

byAbraham M. Nussbaum

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A deeply concerned physician reflects on today’s doctor-patient relationships and offers a compelling vision of a better way to practice medicine

Patients and doctors alike are keenly aware that the medical world is in the midst of great change. We live in an era of continuous healthcare reforms, many of which focus on high volume, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. This compelling, thoughtful book is the response of a practicing psychiatrist who explains how population-based reforms have diminished the relationship between doctors and patients, to the detriment of both. As an antidote to failed reforms and an alternative to stubbornly held traditions, Dr. Abraham M. Nussbaum suggests ways that doctors and patients can learn what it means to be ill and to seek medical assistance.
 
Using a variety of riveting stories from his own and others’ experiences, the author develops a series of metaphors to explore a doctor’s role in different healthcare reform scenarios: scientist, technician, author, gardener, teacher, servant, and witness. Each role influences what a physician sees when examining a person as a patient. Dr. Nussbaum cautions that true healthcare reform can happen only when those who practice medicine can see, and be seen by, their patients as fellow creatures. His memoir makes a hopeful appeal for change, and his insights reveal the direction that change must take.

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From the Publisher

A deeply concerned physician reflects on today’s doctor-patient relationships and offers a compelling vision of a better way to practice medicine Patients and doctors alike are keenly aware that the medical world is in the midst of great change. We live in an era of continuous healthcare reforms, many of which focus on high volume, eff...

Abraham M. Nussbaum, M.D., is the Chief Education Officer at Denver Health and is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He lives in Denver, CO.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.06 inPublished:March 22, 2016Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300211406

ISBN - 13:9780300211405

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From the Author

What do you hope readers will take away from the experience of reading The Finest Traditions of My Calling?  I hope readers will learn that healthcare reform is not just a question of who should have access to care and who should pay for it, but also of our desire for a favorable outcome when a physician meets a person as a patient. Reformers believe the problem with medicine is that it does not consistently and safely deliver the best treatments. And the solution is to transform the delivery of medical care using processes pioneered in high-risk industries like aviation, mining, and automobile manufacturing: run hospitals like factories, optimized for efficiency and effectiveness. But factories make things, not people.             How might your book help change the practice of medicine? I hope to shift the conversation from the reform of healthcare systems to the renewal of medical practice. We need to envision hospitals and clinics not as factories but as cultural spaces such as schools and gardens, restaurants, and gyms, all of which require human relationships for their operation.   What are examples of the roles physicians and patients assume when they interact? Physicians are like scientists who want to know how the body works; technicians who control it; authors who tell its story; gardeners who carefully tend it; teachers who help patients achieve what they could not on their own; and servants who give of themselves for the sake of their patients.

Editorial Reviews

“Intelligent and beautifully written.”—Suzanne Koven, Los Angeles Review of Books