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Medicine and Culture
by Lynn Payer
A classic comparative study of medicine and national culture, Medicine and Culture shows us that while doctors regard themselves as servants of science, they are often prisoners of custom.
Paperback, Revised, 224 pages
Published November 15th 1996 by Holt Paperbacks
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Payer proposes an engaging, if imperfect, discussion regarding the variations of medicine and health in general between cultures. It is incomplete, if only by virtue of the fact that to tackle the topic with all its due diligence would result in a series of books each the size fo the complete Oxford English Dictionary. However, in its form, it prompts vital discussion, relating to our own perceptions and "knowledge" of both the purpose and practice of medicine.
Evaluates and compares how "medicine" is done in France, Germany, Great Britain and the USA. Very informative and enlightening. I had no idea that there were such drastic differences. I thought medical science should be rational, but this book demonstrates how culture impacts medical practice, and not always for the good.
This is a 'must read' for anyone who thinks their doctor is always right. This book really opened my eyes to the understanding that doctors are highly influenced by culture and that there are many different options for disease treatments--despite what your doctor may tell you. Once again, we must own our own bodies and take responsibility for our own health!
This book was super interesting and really opened up the ol' eyes to the degree of subjectivity involved in the world of medicine and, like, doctorly things. I read a super old copy -- I feel like some sort of "Author's Preface to the New Edition" would've been extra handy. Still, it's a super interesting read.