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The Social Medicine Reader by Gail E. Henderson

The Social Medicine Reader

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The Social Medicine Reader by Gail E. Henderson

To meet the needs of the rapidly changing world of health care, future physicans and health care providers will need to be trained to become wiser scientists and humanists in order to understand the social and moral as well as technological aspects of health and illness. The Social Medicine Reader is designed to meet this need.Based on more than a decade of teaching social medicine to first-year medical students at the pioneering Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, The Social Medicine Reader defines the meaning of the social medicine perspective and offers an approach for teaching it. Looking at medicine from a variety of perspectives, this anthology features fiction, medical reports, scholarly essays, poetry, case studies, and personal narratives by patients and doctors-all of which contribute to an understanding of how medicine and medical practice is profoundly influenced by social, cultural, political, and economic forces.What happens when a person becomes a patient? How are illness and disability experienced? What causes disease? What can medicine do? What constitutes a doctor/patient relationship? What are the ethical obligations of a health care provider? These questions and many others are raised by The Social Medicine Reader, which is organized into sections that address how patients experience illness, cultural attitudes toward disease, social factors related to health problems, the socialization of physicians, the doctor/patient relationship, health care ethics and the provider's role, medical care financing, rationing, and managed care.


[R]efreshing. . . .[I]mpressive. . . . The publication of The Social Medicine Reader is welcome. It is an outstanding anthology for those in academic medicine who are involved in the teaching of such courses and for all those in the profession and in the public who feel that medicine may be losing some of its holistic and humane attributes. -- Walter Roufail * North Carolina Medical Board Forum * A wonderful collection that in its impressive breadth and depth gives a full account of a nation's contemporary medicine as it has been shaped by the events of the late 20th century. -Robert Coles

About the Author

Gail E. Henderson, Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of The Chinese Hospital: A Socialist Work Unit.Nancy M. P. King, Associate Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of Making Sense of Advance Directives.Ronald P. Strauss is Professor of Dental Ecology and Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is author of numerous articles on social and ethical issues in the care of chronic illness.Sue E. Estroff is Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Making It Crazy: An Ethnography of Psychiatric Clients in an American Community.Larry R. Churchill is Professor of and Chair of the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Self-Interest and Universal Health Care: Why Well-Insured Americans Should Support Coverage for Everyone and Rationing Health Care in America: Perceptions and Principles of Justice.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 1997


Gail E. Henderson

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Duke University Press


528 pages


Public health & preventive medicine



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