- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 15, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805048030
- ISBN-13: 978-0805048032
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Medicine and Culture: Revised Edition Reprint Edition
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From the Back Cover
A classic comparative study of medicine and national culture, Medicine and Culture shows us that while doctors regard themselves as servants of science, they are often prisoners of custom. The United States, England, Germany, and France have equivalent life expectancy rates, yet medical treatment differs enormously from country to country. A new foreword by the author examines the trend toward evidence-based medicine and addresses the substantial changes in medical culture since 1988, including the proliferation of alternative medicine and the changing face of medicine in the European Community since the fall of Communism.
About the Author
Lynn Payer, a former editor for the New York Times Good Health magazine, writes extensively about medical issues for doctors as well as for the general public. She lives in New York City.
Top customer reviews
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The book also looks at how medical compensation affects the way medicine is practiced. German and American doctors who are paid fees for each procedure use far more than English doctors who are paid a straight salary. American doctors may raise their fees when they want more compensation while French doctors would need to perform more operations. American doctors whose insurance companies would require them to perform a cesarean section after fibroid removal are more prone to remove the uterus than French doctors who have no such pressure and feel that a woman could have six myomectomies before a C-section would be required.
And different organs are looked at as important. The French place great stress on the liver, its ability to process food and to regulate the body while the Germans focus on the heart.
While we may consider medicine a science apart from cultural considerations, Payer shows us that the art of medicine is subject to cultural and economic biases even in the modern European-American context.
The idea that different cultures approach healthcare differently is both obvious and completely unthought of. Seeing that these varied approaches do not significantly alter outcomes provides tremendous insight into treating patients in alternative ways.
I consider this a must read for any health professional and a fascinating read for anyone.
Most recent customer reviews
The book shows how medicine is heavily influenced by culture.Read more