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Social change has placed new demands on the practice of medicine, altering almost every aspect of patient care relationships. Just as medicine was encouraged to embrace the biological sciences some 100 years ago, recent directives indicate the importance of the social sciences in understanding biomedical practice. Humanistic challenges call for changes in curative and technological imperatives. In this book, social scientists contribute to such challenges by using social evidence to indicate appropriate new goals for health care in a changing environment.

This book was designed to stimulate and challenge all those concerned with the human interactions that constitute medical practice. To encompass a wide range of topics, the authors include researchers; practicing physicians from the specialties of family, general, geriatric, pediatric, and oncological medicine; social and behavioral scientists; and public health representatives. Cutting across disciplinary boundaries, they explore the ethical, economic, and social aspects of patient care.

These essays draw on past studies of the patient-doctor relationship and generate new and important questions. They address social behavior in patient care as a way to approach theoretical issues pertinent to the social and medical sciences. The authors also use social variables to study patient care and suggest new areas of sociomedical inquiry and new approaches to medical practice, education, and research.

Its cross-disciplinary approach and jargon-free writing make this book an important and accessible tool for physician, scholar, and student.

Jeffrey Michael Clair is assistant professor of sociology and medicine and director of the Medical Sociology Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Richard M. Allman is associate professor of medicine and director of the University Center for Aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Provides many unique and revealing perspectives on the doctor-patient relationship."—Journal of the American Medical Association

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Health care, Comprehensive health care, Patient relations


Medicine and Health Sciences

Sociomedical Perspectives on Patient Care
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