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The Art and Science of Medical Practice.

'The Doctor's Apprentice

The Art and Science of Medical Practice.'


Poem: 'The Art of Medicine.


Introduction (click here to read)


Clinical Encounters

Medical Encounters and Apprentices

How Doctors Function

A Compendium of Doctors

About Patients

A Compendium of Patients

The Doctor-Patient Relationship

Cultural Difference and Clinical Medicine


Diagnosis, Diagnosis, and Diagnosis

Patient History Taking


Other Consulting Room Matters


Clinical Process


The Tools of Medical Management

Clinical Decision Tools

Clinical Judgement

Clinical Management

Clinical Research



Glossary of terms.



Further Acknowledgements

Appendices: A: Proforma history sheet.

                   B: Sleep Article.



The Doctor's Apprentice
The Art and Science of Medical Practice.

What does it take for a doctor to become successful in the eyes of patients? What does it take to be a successful member of the medical profession, and are these requirements compatible? These are questions that should concern every patient.

In the rainforest on Pu'u Kukai, Maui, Hawaii, heaven is said to meet Earth.

Interesting things happen at frontiers. Frontiers exist between doctors and patients, between doctors and other doctors, and between doctors and the nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, and other care workers they work with. At the frontier between patients and those they know, many attitudes form about doctors and other medical professionals, and how medical practice functions.

Other important frontiers are:

Each of these affect patient morbidity and mortality. All affect the benefits and disadvantages available to patients. All influence how medicine is practised in the UK today.

I regard the practise of medicine as sacrosanct since it holds the lives of patients in its hands with no purpose other than to respond successfully to their medical needs. Many political issues now interfere with this purpose. Staffing, funding, and the bureaucracy of the NHS all affect patient morbidity and mortality. These factors hardly exist in private medical practice, and patients can benefit accordingly.

A patient's life and death can depend on their wealth and inclination to be treated privately or by the NHS. Many patients in the UK are mostly blind to this, choose to ignore it, or have no option but to accept it. The wealthy can choose their doctors and their medical services; NHS patients must put their faith in what politicians and medical bureaucrats choose to provide for them. NHS medical bureaucrats, who are mostly anonymous, believe they are qualified to direct the way doctors and nurses practise. In private medicine, it is experienced doctors and nurses who decide every clinical issue. A frontier formed between the new NHS and private medicine in 1948. That frontier remains and separates two distinct medical cultures.