Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 219–236 | Cite as

“Treat the patient, not the lab” Internal medicine and the concept of ‘Person’

  • Robert A. Hahn


In different medical systems, notions of person, as patient and as healer, vary widely. An analysis of the talk of a practitioner of internal medicine in the U.S.A. reveals an understanding of patients as syndromes. The work of medicine is ‘physiological integrity’, distinct from personal and interpersonal integrity. It is suggested that the world view of this practitioner is consistent with the institutions of medicine in which he practices, and with historical movements in U.S. society and Western civilization more broadly.


Internal Medicine Medical System Western Civilization World View Historical Movement 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Hahn
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonUSA

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