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May 2, 1966

Ferment in Medicine: A Study of the Essence of Medical Practice and of Its New Dilemmas

JAMA. 1966;196(5):461. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100180133058

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This provocative little book raises critical issues for medical practice and medical care. The author, a teacher of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, has developed the ideas presented during 15 years of seminars with senior medical students.

The book begins with an analysis, largely theoretical, of the interaction between doctors and patients. It is refreshing to read a doctor's thoughts on this subject, and Magraw has a strong sense of the paradox and strain of the doctor's role which is sometimes overlooked in discussions by social scientists. He gives us a compendium of ideas derived from the work of philosophers, scholars, sociologists, and physicians, as well as from his own personal experience. Unfortunately, the mixture is so rich that it is hard to digest. Brief, eclectic presentations permit very little documentation or extended analysis. Some generalizations, such as the idea that doctors see the doctor-patient relationship purely

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