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This is an important little book, not so much for its substantive content, with which many (including the reviewer) may take exception on various details, but for the attention it directs to a glaring defect in modern medical education and practice. To put it in its most elemental terms, it is the failure of modern medical educators to recognize and to communicate to students of medicine a full picture of what constitutes the nature of illness, specifically the form of its communication from patient to physician.
Medical education and practice continue to be organized in the framework of a narrow and archaic concept of disease as a "thing" responsible for certain symptoms and signs to be eliminated through the application of various therapeutic activities. In this respect, in spite of our vaunted scientific progress, we have advanced little from the prescientific concepts of demonology in which disease was conceived of
Engel GL. The Doctor-Patient Relationship.. Arch Intern Med. 1968;121(3):297-298. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.03640030089017