This work contains foreword by Ian R McWhinney, Emeritus Professor of General Practice, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine University of Western Ontario, Canada. This ground-breaking book encourages a re-focus on the subjective and social nature of health and illness. It helps healthcare professionals find fresh perspectives to assist patients, many of whom are threatened by and lost in a healthcare system dominated by diseases and procedures. The book takes a whole systems approach to primary care, incorporating new developments, social aspects, critical discourse, international perspectives, and the history and philosophy of medicine. It is a stimulating and inspiring read for general practitioners and other primary healthcare professionals, undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, healthcare educators, academics, and primary care researchers. Healthcare policy makers and shapers will value its lucid account of complex issues. 'Joachim Sturmberg has written an important book, which I sincerely hope the reformers of our health care system will study carefully. It is also a riveting read. With great erudition and strong arguments, Sturmberg lays out a plan which leads to a goal to which we all aspire - a health care system based on primary care and primary health care which expresses the historic values of medicine and adapts itself to the complexity of modern medicine. A must read for anyone who has the interests of primary care at heart.' - Ian R McWhinney, in the Foreword.
Section 1: Historical Perspective of Medicine: from Shaman to modern physician. The history of medicine. Development of medicine knowledge. Medical education. The origins of general practice. Emerging patterns. Section 2: Philosophical perspective of medicine: the search for meaning of health illness. Some philosophical fragments on medicine. Philosophical fragments on science. Systems thinking. Emerging patterns. Section 3: The practice of medicine: healing. The epidemiology of illness and disease. Disease, illness and health. The practice of medicine. Practising general practice/family medicine. Emerging patterns. Section 4: The social function of medicine: the interdependence of health in society. The social nature of health and medicine. Social responsibility. Health care in societal context. Health inequalities. Emerging patterns. Section 5: Medicine in the community: towards primary care. Primary care. The healthcare vortex: A metaphor for a sustainable healthcare system.