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From this foundation, the second section of the book shifts in tone to evaluate several aspects that have led to a pathological distrust of not only the individual physician but the modern medical enterprise as a whole. The main subjects that Imber addresses are the received notion of the power of medicine by the general public, a brief modern history of bioethics and anxiety as experienced by both patient and doctor about the limits of medical science.
The method of argumentation is primarily comprised of sources from historical archives and sociological data.
In other words, Imber strives to make strong and immediate correlations between historical occurrences sermons, eulogies, commencement speeches, published literature by historical actors and future struggles to trust doctors by integrating moderate historiography with sociological interpretation. The strength of the book does indeed lie in the utilization of historical references and examples since they best exhibit the mindset of the time as well as provide touchstones over recent history.
Such concrete antecedents lend themselves quite easily to the basic premise that the modern predicament did not come about in a vacuum. Trusting Doctors is truly an interdisciplinary work since it exhibits multiple aspects of the humanities literature, philosophy, ethics, history, social science and religion.
Trusting Doctors: The Decline of Moral Authority in American Medicine
It should have immediate application to medical education and practice since Imber seeks to provide insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood, and offer a historical perspective on modern medical practice. Attention to these subjects always deserves greater attention since it facilitates nurturing skills of observation, analysis, empathy and self-reflection.
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The historical aspects are the most intriguing and the argument seems more cohesive in the first section of the book as compared to the second which follows more tangential and fragmented concerns. Original Article Jonathan B.