Junior (College 3rd year) ・Literature ・MLA ・4 Sources

Is it fair or even realistic to look for what Esterbrook describes as the artist in every doctor in the article ""Medicine, The Art?"" Do people need an artist as well as a scientist in a doctor in order for them to heal?

Over time, the world of medicine has experienced several phenomenal advances of a scientific nature. Nevertheless, these advances have not eroded the interpersonal nature of the medical profession, which remains a cornerstone of the profession. Whereas some in the profession regard medicine as being purely a science, some such as Esterbrook believe that it also lends itself to art. Esterbrook posits that the successful practice of medicine is summed up in four principles: morality, individuality, humanity, and mastery the application of which demonstrates that whereas the study of medicine is a science, its application is undoubtedly an art (Esterbrook). Consequently, success in the profession necessitates that one masters both elements since this is associated with the best patient outcomes.

Esterbrook points out that expertise is crucial in medicine. However, expertise entails more than just knowledge and experience but also ropes in creative thinking and wisdom (Esterbrook). Art entails the acquisition of skills through observation or experience. Whereas the diagnosis of disease and the selection of an appropriate treatment regime necessitate the possession of technical skills and scientific knowledge, those alone are insufficient. Doctors must also possess a humility that enables them to listen and a studiousness that encourages them to question. Healing, which is the ultimate goal of medicine, entails more than just the administration of drugs or the application of technology. Instead, a patient must also have a positive attitude and the will to live. The application of the arts of listening and communication help to foster a doctor-patient relationship that demonstrates to the patient that he or she is more than just a commodity thus helping to cultivate this positive attitude.

The continued existence of personalized medicine is another reason fronted by Esterbrook in support of his claim that medicine is an art (Esterbrook). A disease or illness is usually attributable to a specific source for example a pathogen. However, no two physicians or patients are the same. Consequently, it is impossible to have a right or “one size fits all” way to treat patients. Intuition and personal judgment are fundamental components of any medical care, which is why different doctors sometimes choose to approach the same problem in differing ways. By recognizing that each patient has an individuality and a different set of values, the doctor can help to put the patient at ease and appear to relate with him. This in turn puts the patient at ease thus improving his or her response to care.

Humanity and morality are also vital components of the doctor-patient relationship. The vulnerable condition of patients means that they often surrender large amounts of control and privacy to their doctors (Esterbrook). The doctor has a moral obligation not to take advantage of this power and to be truthful in his dealings as encompassed in the Hippocratic Oath. For a doctor to do this, it is imperative that he or she empathizes with the patient. Empathy allows the physician to connect with the patient at a human level and thus understand his or her experiences (Egnew 27). By doing this, the doctor fulfils the therapeutic role that is critical to patient relief. When a patient feels that the doctor can relate to what he or she is going through, the patient feels at ease and can relax and focus on getting better, which is essential for proper healing.

Consequently, whereas advancements in the scientific element of medicine have markedly improved the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, medicine as an art remains just as important. The science and art of medicine are like opposite sides of a coin, which makes them inseparable and interdependent. Proper medical practice demands both artistry and adequate scientific knowledge since they are both critical to patient outcomes.

Works Cited

Egnew, Thomas R. ""The Art of Medicine: Seven Skills That Promote Mastery."" Family Practice Management, vol. 21, no. 4, July 2014, pp. 25-30, Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

Esterbrook, John. ""Medicine, The Art - CBS News."" CBS News - Breaking News, Live News Stream 24x7, 14 July 2007, Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

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