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Ordinary Medicine

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This is book for all healthcare practitioners and medical staff making decisions and caring for patients.

Title: Ordinary Medicine

Author: Sharon R Kaufman

Publisher: Duke University Press

Reviewer: Jane Brown, quality governance manager, Clinical Support Worcester Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This is an interesting and thought provoking book. this focuses on the older patient. In this day and age and the ever increasing advances in medicine do we as clinicians and healthcare practitioners do too much? When is enough? This book gives the reader a little breathing space to re-evaluate and review our practices.

What were the highlights?

The chapter concerning chemotherapy and giving a patient perhaps longer to live was really thought provoking. the author explores this with the other side of the coin, and the dilemmas concerning at what cost, will this be to the detriment of the patients quality of life and at the same time being bombarded with life expectancy figures. There is at times perhaps misunderstanding that having invasive treatment for incurable cancers will not cure them. The author explores the more is better, which can be right up to death and could the patient have had quality of life in a shorter time. It shows as we know medicine cannot be an exact science.

The older patient becomes a dilemma, we are living longer but with that comes complex medical problems. The clock ticks but yet clinicians are striving to keep people alive irrespective of patient’s medical conditions.

It begs the question do we need a rethink at times and do we need to ensure we are treating patients as individuals and not conditions.

The author has spent time listening to patients, clinicians and family members to gain their perspective and unique experiences.

Strengths & weaknesses:

Written for the healthcare settings in US, but that need not deter UK readers as the information is just as relevant in the UK.

Who should read it?

This is book for all healthcare practitioners and medical staff making decisions and caring for patients. Examples could be used for case studies in mortality and MDT meetings. This is a book to be on junior doctor and nursing reading lists and just as apt for the senior medical team also.

ordinary medicine

ordinary medicine

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