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Books, Journals, New Media
October 6, 2004

Suffering

Author Affiliations
 

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA ; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(13):1615-1621. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1616-b

Sir William Osler wrote, “To prevent disease, to relieve suffering and to heal the sick—this is our work.” However, a variety of economic, scientific, technologic, and sociologic factors have conspired to focus the attention of the health care system in general and physicians in particular on healing the sick and preventing disease. For instance, the drive to ever more economically efficient clinic practices leaves little or no unfocused time to explore the patient’s ability to cope with a life-changing health event. Relieving suffering has take a distant third place in many practices.

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