I like this book. Its starting point is a recognition of medicine as a true profession — that is, an activity which, being concerned with deeply personal problems, is aimed at serving people in a manner which enables them to act on their own. Its subject matter is the pursuit of this honourable goal in a world in which resources are finite, medical practice is increasingly undermined by corporatisation, accountability threatens to become an end in itself and the community expects that treatment will always be successful. Its achievement is an informative sketch of what a doctor needs to know and do, over and above the adequate knowledge and practice of medical science, if he or she is to live out the Hippocratic commitment to the “benefit of the sick” in 21st-century Australia.
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