Modern medicine is a powerful institution. With the help of highly developed drugs and surgical techniques, it promises to relieve suffering, improve the quality of life and extend the life-span. Conversely, it is expensive for the governments, insurance companies and individuals who pay for it and sometimes appears to be insensitive to the needs of those for whom it provides. And while recent restructuring of health care delivery services has provided medical practitioners with new challenges, there has been very little consideration of the range of pressures that they now face. Challenging Medicineoffers a lively re-appraisal of the current changes to the health service and analyses their effects on the status and practice of health professionals. It also provides original debate on the challenges posed from within medicine from nurses and managers and alternative practitioners, and from outside by self-help groups, the women's movement and the media. Edited and written byexperienced medical sociologists,Challenging Medicinewill continue to provide a text for medical sociology students and for health care professionals in training and in practice.
Praise for the first edition: 'Especially refreshing to see theory interwoven with empirical work.' - The Lancet 'Essential and topical resource...comprehensive appraisal of the role of the medical profession in late twentieth century health care.' - Ray Fitzpatrick, Nuffield College, Oxford