The Lost Art of Healing

Practicing Compassion in Medicine

By Bernard Lown
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345425973, 368pp.)

Publication Date: February 2, 1999

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Description

The real crisis in medicine today is not about economics, insurance, or managed care--it's about the loss of the fundamental human relationship between doctor and patient. In this wise and passionate book, one of our most eminent physicians reacquaints us with a classic notion often overlooked in modern medicine: health care with a human face, in which the time-honored art of healing guides doctors in their approach to patient care and their use of medical technology.

Drawing on four decades of practice as a cardiologist and a vast knowledge of literature and medical history, Dr. Lown probes the heart and soul of the doctor-patient relationship. Insightful and accessible to all, The Lost Art of Healing describes how true healers use sympathetic listening and touch to hone their diagnostic skills, how language affects the perception of illness, how doctors and patients can cultivate a relationship of trust, and how patients can obtain the most complete and beneficial care through a combination of healing techniques and conventional practices.

As Dr. Lown explains, the art of healing does not mean abandoning the spectacular advances of modern science, but rather incorporating them into a sensitive, humane, enlightened approach to medical care. With its urgent message and poignant, fascinating vignettes, The Lost Art of Healing is a book of vital, universal importance.

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