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Doctor-patient relationships in the perspective of the sociology of medicine

12 December 2022

"The prepared study is a modern textbook on the sociology of medicine intended for students of medicine, nursing and other medical professions having direct contact with the patient, as well as for doctors already practising. The study combines the transmission of theoretical assumptions with numerous research results from the latest literature on the subject. Based on the theoretical assumptions, the author shows in detail the process of shaping the doctor's attitudes towards patients, and discusses all aspects of doctor-patient communication. The study shows a different way of looking at the doctor-patient relationship primarily from the perspective of the patient's subjective needs, allows the patient's expectations to be understood and points out to the future doctor those aspects of the doctor-patient relationship which, from the patient's point of view, determine his/her satisfaction with the contact with the doctor and with the advice obtained. An interesting thread is the extensively discussed mechanisms determining the patient's cooperation with the doctor, and attention is paid to the factors determining the patient's attitudes that do not adhere to medical recommendations. The doctor-patient relationship is also referred to the rarely discussed issue of the doctor's professional stress and illustrates the determinants of potential conflicts in the doctor's role. The author devotes most attention to occupational stress resulting from the determinants of the doctor's role, including the consequences of the relationship with the patient. Physician-patient interactions are related to the principles of medicine as an institution of social control and to the principles of individual patient care systems."

From a review by Prof. Dr. Wiesław Jędrychowski