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What patients wish you understood 

What patients wish you understood
Chapter:
What patients wish you understood
Author(s):

Rosamund Snow

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0003
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date: 07 March 2021

Learning medicine has traditionally meant a strong focus on acute medicine—diagnosing, treating, curing, and concentrating on one part of the body at a time. Traditionally, the doctor has always been the expert, the person we come to when something is wrong, to help make our bodies healthy again. Those skills are still vital, but things are changing in several key ways. This chapter is written from a personal viewpoint on how helping patients manage chronic conditions requires a different set of skills from those used in acute medicine. Diagnosis becomes only a tiny part of the story, because people can live with a long-term condition for a lifetime, and restoring people to full health is often impossible. Dividing the body up into textbook chapters becomes less and less relevant because chronic illnesses can impact on many body parts at once.

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