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December 2022

Br J Gen Pract. 1993 Nov; 43(376): 475-7.

Holistic medicine or the humane doctor?

Charlton BG.

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The holistic doctor is sometimes proposed as an ideal. However, holism involves an expansion of medical categories to encompass most of 'normal' life as well as sickness. The humane doctor is suggested as a better ideal. He or she is wise, compassionate and liberally educated; and knows that there is more to life than medicine-both for doctors and their patients. Humane practice is promoted by a broad and rigorous education but inhibited by excessive busyness and pressurized conditions of work. This has implications for medical training and work practices.

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