Good medicine

Some time ago, I read an authoritative WHO publication with a guide to the "Five-Star Doctor"'…improves quality of care by responding to the patient's total health needs with integrated preventive, curative and rehabilitative services while considering the patient as an integral part of a family and community..'(Boelen, 1992). That paragraph lodged itself firmly in my mind though I did not totally comprehend it. To me, physical ailments had merely physiological origins, and'good' medicine or doctoring simply meant tending to them, thus caring for society.
By the start of'Society and Health', I had come to realise that there is widespread acknowledgement that medical practice is currently undergoing substantial upheaval. The lustre of the medical edifice and the esteem of its practitioners seem to be dulling in an anti-scientific environment. Too often doctors are seen as supercilious and lacking a'human touch'.
Advent of technology and globalisation has allowed the dissemination of information with astounding ease and rapidity. Doctors are hard-pressed to communicate better with a more educated and discerning population that demands the best and latest, and are only too keen to complain or sue for perceived deficiencies or malpractice.
Starting this course, I was bombarded by a host of outlooks I previously gave little consideration, becoming conscious of the fact that people are often aided in their recovery or empowered to cope with illness by the manner in which they are treated. Too mired in the mindset that attaining knowledge and skill were all that mattered, it had not formerly registered that other factors – life events, communication, environment and the interaction of the person with all these aspects – play a role in the vulnerability of the person and hence a part in good medicine.
Ability to recognize factors influencing health and disease:
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