Caring for the Patient



The title of this chapter has been shamelessly, yet respectfully, adapted from the title of a lecture given at Harvard Medical School in 1925, one of a series of late-afternoon sessions for medical students, and subsequently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1927. The title of the lecture and the paper was simply “The Care of the Patient.”2 Peabody’s lectures and writings were later collected and published in 1931, a project underwritten by his classmates from Harvard Medical School. In the preface to this volume, bacteriologist Hans Zinsser wrote of Peabody’s collected works: “Their publication will serve to continue the influence of a voice that American medicine could ill afford to lose - one of clear-headedness, unsentimental idealism and the great wisdom of affectionate optimism.”3 I mentioned Dr. Peabody’s work to one of our residents, who happens to be a graduate of Harvard Medical School; she replied that while in medical school, she was a member of the Francis Weld Peabody Society.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Down Syndrome Harvard Medical School Genital Herpes Borderline Personality Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Low CH. Reflection for young doctors and doctors of tomorrow. Singapore Med J. 1998;39(12):535–536.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Peabody FW. The care of the patient. JAMA. 1927;88(12):877–882.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zinsser H. Introduction. In: Peabody FW, ed. Doctor and Patient. New York: Macmillan; 1930:11.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tishler PV. The care of the patient: a living testimony to Francis Weld Peabody. Pharos; Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Med Soc. 1992;55(3):32–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Longmore JM, Rajagopalan SR, Wilkinson I. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. London: Oxford University Press; 2006:2.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jung C. Psychological reflections. In: Jacobi J, ed. Bollingen Series 21. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 1970:84.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    McWhinney I. The need for a transformed clinical method. In: Stewart M, Roger D, eds. Communicating with Medical Patients. London: Sage; 1989.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schillerstrom JE, Horton MS, Royall DR. The impact of medical illness on executive function. Psychosomatics. 2005;46(6):508–516.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Levy AH. Floyd Patterson: A Boxer and a Gentleman. Jefferson, NC: McFarland; 2008:263–264.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lansky SB, Cairns NU, Hassanein R, Wehr J, Lowman JT. Childhood cancer: parental discord and divorce. Pediatrics. 1978;62(2):184–188.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jackson JL, Kroenke K. Difficult patient encounters in the ambulatory clinic: clinical predictors and outcomes. Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:1069–1075.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mas GX, Cruz DJM, Fañanás LN, et al. Difficult patients in primary care: a quantitative and qualitative study. Aten Primaria. 2003;31(4):214–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sansone RA, Benjamin A. Borderline personality: somatic presentations in the primary care setting. Primary Care Reports. 2007;13(3):1–11.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Garrett KEE, JM KTR. The difficult doctor? Characteristics of physicians who report frustration with patients: an analysis of survey data. BMC Health Serv Res. 2006;6(6):128–132.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Elder N, Ricer R, Tobias B. How respected family physicians manage difficult patient encounters. J Am Board Fam Med. 2006;19(6):533–541.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cassell EJ. Doctoring: The Nature of Primary Care. New York: Oxford; 1997:109.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    McDonagh AF. Phototherapy: from ancient Egypt to the new millennium. J Perinatol. 2001;21:S7–S12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cousins N. Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. New York: Bantam; 2005.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Granek-Catarivas M, Goldstein-Ferber S, Azuri Y, Kahan E. Use of humor in primary care; different perceptions among patients and physicians. Postgrad Med J. 2005;81(952):126–130.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gross DA, Zyzanski SJ, Borawski EA, Cebul RD, Stange KC. Patient satisfaction with time spent with their physicians. J Fam Pract. 1998;47(2):133–137.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Beach MC, Roter D, Larson S, Levinson W, Ford DE, Frankel R. What do physicians tell patients about themselves? A qualitative analysis of physician self-disclosure. J Gen Intern Med. 2004;19(9):984–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hurst JW. What do good doctors try to do? Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:2681–2686.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Adler HM. The sociopathology of caring in the doctor-patient relationship. J Gen Intern Med. 2003;18(4):317–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hentschel U, Smith G, Draguns JG. Defense Mechanisms: Theoretical, Research and Clinical Perspectives. New York: Elsevier; 2004:489.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Phillips WR, Haynes DG. The domain of family practice: scope, role and function. Fam Med. 2001;33(4):273–277.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Quoted in: Medical epigrams. Bull Hong Kong Chinese Med Assn. 1948; 1(1): 42–43.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Crawshaw R. Humanitarianism in medicine. In: Smith MED, ed. Living with Medicine: A Family Guide. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association Auxiliary; 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine School of MedicineOregon Health and Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations