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Being a Doctor

Friday, 1 November 2013 3:00pm

Understanding medical practice

Hamish Wilson and Wayne Cunningham

being_a_doctorThe book

Sometimes caring for patients can leave clinicians feeling overwhelmed with the daily tasks of doctoring. As an antidote, this book explores principles and assumptions of modern medicine seldom taught in medical school. Starting with the meaning of suffering and how the ‘science’ of medicine has evolved, the authors use many clinical stories to provide a fresh perspective on the work and roles of the modern doctor.

Based on many years of teaching family physicians, the book argues that being a doctor is much more than simply knowing biomedical facts and having good clinical skills. It explores some of the major challenges facing physicians, including the doctor–patient relationship, the ‘heartsink’ experience, and unwell patients for whom no disease can be found. The authors also introduce patient safety and self-care, two important issues for modern health professionals.

For experienced doctors as well as for students and doctors in training, Being a Doctor moves beyond biomedicine, providing useful insights that explain how both doctors and patients think and behave.

It is good medicine! – Dr Glenn Colquhoun

Each chapter has numerous pearls of wisdom. It is a must read for all clinicians. – Professor Bruce Arroll, University of Auckland

The authors

HAMISH WILSON is a senior lecturer in General Practice at the University of Otago. His teaching portfolio includes postgraduate programmes for family doctors as well as courses for undergraduate students on community-based healthcare. He has taught and published on the doctor–patient relationship, undergraduate medical education and the philosophy of medicine.

WAYNE CUNNINGHAM is a senior lecturer in General Practice at the University of Otago and also works clinically as a rural GP. He teaches postgraduate programmes for family doctors including medical education, research design and philosophy of practice. He has published widely on the impact of complaints on doctors and is active in medico-legal organisations.

Publication details

Paperback, 245 x 170 mm, 276 pages, two-colour, ISBN 978 1 877578 36 6, $35
Available in New Zealand and Australia only
2013