Postmodernist Theory and the Physician-Patient Relationship
Theoretical Medicine. 1994 Sep; 15(3): 257-275.
The author discusses the postmodernist claim that the "grand theories" have lost credibility, even in the field of medical science and practice. Rather than representing a shared reality among physician and patient, illness represents two quite distinct realities - the meaning of one being significantly and distinctively different from the meaning of the other. However, existential clinical narratives can function as important bridges between the world of the patient and the world of the physician. Such narratives provide important information regarding the patient's biographical situation and, particularly, the personal and cultural meanings which are a function of the biographical situation. At the same time, these narratives provide physicians with useful information for the practice of medicine.
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