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The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, And The Human Condition Reprint Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0465032044
ISBN-10: 0465032044
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, Kleinman vitalizes his book with quotations from patients and members of the healing professions. This is a scholarly study but accessible to a lay audience. Writing of "suffering, healing and the human condition," the author observes the dichotomy between technological advances in medicine and the actual treatment of the ill, handicapped and dying. Profoundly moving reports illuminate the deprived lives of social outcasts, shunned and stigmatized, whose needs are not met by the medical community. There are also instructive descriptions of how an empathetic doctor can help "humans" (not cases) to regain health or, in extremis, die a "good death." Kleinman argues persuasively the need to reform today's medical-care system to more fully serve humanity.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Kleinman, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, pleads for doctors to consider psychological and social aspects of chronic illness along with the medical aspects. He points out a need for change in the education of physicians to reflect this broader view, also expressed by Melvin Konner in Becoming a Doctor ( LJ 9/1/87). He presents case histories to illustrate the differing reactions of patients to their illnesses. A distinctive feature is a comparison of patients in the United States and China, making the effect of social elements on illness graphically clear. Recommended for the public and health care professionals. Anne Twitchell, EPA Headquarters Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (October 2, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465032044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465032044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a physician for the past three decades and have taught physicians in training for the last ten years.

Although written in 1986, Kleinman remains applicable to the present time. I suppose this is not terribly surprising--Kleinman's approach to the patient is essentially humanistic. He understands the patient narrative as an integral whole along with his environmental, familial, social, and economic milieu. This approach transcends the "industrial medicine" approach taught in medical schools and residency programs today wherein patient care has been reduced to shift-work and patients are regarded more as "inputs" rather than human beings.

I wish I had read this book 30 years ago. I hope more physician training programs will require it.
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Format: Paperback
Harvard professor Arthur Kleinman has prepared and presented an excellent collection of case studies and analysis on the topic of suffering and dealing with chronic pain.
This book is perfect for a physician who is trying to understand his patients or a patient who is trying to deal with a life of pain. Either way the book is a fascinating study of how to live life.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be too academic and abstract for the general reader. I kept thinking, What are you trying to say? I think the author may be sympathetic to patients and be arguing for improvements in medical care but it isn't clear exactly what he means. Academics tend to have their own language. Good books and other information on health care can be found here:

mwir-improvinghealth.blogspot.com/
Midwest Independent Research
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By Ben F on August 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a must read for all health care givers!
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