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April 4, 1986

The Patient: Biological, Psychological, and Social Dimensions of Medical Practice

JAMA. 1986;255(13):1792-1793. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370130148047

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Critics of medical education frequently chastise the profession for its failure in undergraduate training programs to emphasize the importance of the relationship and understanding between doctor and patient. In recent years, the response to this concern has been the introduction of behavioral science courses early in the curriculum, which integrate basic science principles of human behavior with a clinical perspective. These courses provide a humanistic foundation for students as they begin their transformation into practicing clinicians.

The Patient, by psychiatry professors Hoyle Leigh and Morton F. Reiser, is an outgrowth of their efforts at Yale to develop such a course and an update of their successful first edition. This book is, in the authors' words, "intended to challenge medical students in their preclinical years and those who are preparing for their first clinical clerkship... to think about patients as entities in their own right." It is not, however, a "conventional