Previous Chapter Chapter 11: The Patient's Presentation of Self in an Initial Medical Encounter

Michele G. Greene, Ronald D. Adelman, Connie Rizzo & Erika Friedmann

In: Interpersonal Communication in Older Adulthood: Interdisciplinary Theory and Research

Chapter 11: The Patient's Presentation of Self in an Initial Medical Encounter

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The Patient's Presentation of Self in an Initial Medical Encounter
The patient's presentation of self in an initial medical encounter
MicheleG.GreeneRonaldD.AdelmanConnieRizzoErikaFriedmann

The significance of knowing the patient as a total person has long been recognized by sociologists, anthropologists, and medical professionals (American Board of Internal Medicine, 1992; Balint, 1964; Kleinman, 1988; Mishler, 1984). In knowing the patient's beliefs and his or her unique constellation of social, cultural, and psychological characteristics, the physician is better able to diagnose, treat, and care for the patient. Kleinman (1988) eloquently describes the dynamic interrelationship between the patient's disease (a biological phenomenon) and the patient's illness (his or her subjective experience of disease). He and others argue that to heal, “in its deepest sense” (McWhinney, 1989, p. 29), the medical professional must ...

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