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By Michael Kennedy

This advent to the background of medication starts off with the evolution of infectious illnesses on the finish of the final ice age. It describes the beginning of technology and drugs in old civilizations, together with China and India. the 1st 3rd of the booklet covers the early interval that's thought of the "classical" historical past of drugs. the rest describes the evolution of contemporary medication and surgical procedure as much as the current. the ultimate bankruptcy is a historical past of clinical economics and explains the starting place of medical health insurance, HMOs and scientific malpractice court cases, matters defined nowhere else within the clinical university curriculum.

There is a forty web page index and over 550 footnotes, so much of them references to the unique articles defined within the textual content. A bibliography of crucial resources can also be integrated.

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Example text

Reflecting on the Pholela project a decade after its inception, the first medical director, Sidney Kark, commented on the gains made after the first year of the experiment: The whole process of the health centre’s development was one which reflected an increasing understanding of the individual in terms of his family situation, of the family in its life situation within the local community and finally the way of life of the community itself in relation to the social structure of South Africa. By this detailed study the centre had moved from the plane of vague generalization about the importance of various social forces to an increasing understanding of those forces in relation to health and disease as manifested in individuals.

Although Durkheim is not cited often as a major contributor to the history of epidemiology, his insights into the collective and social forces that affect individuals foreshadowed most of contemporary social epidemiology (Krieger 2001, Trostle 1986a). The popularity of including a broad range of social factors in studies of population health was waning by the last quarter of the nineteenth century, in part because clinical researchers were searching for single causes for specific diseases and in part because social researchers were more interested in the evolution than the function of society.

For example, they establish the severity of a case and whether it poses limits to safe driving or work capacity. They also help to determine eligibility for government disability payments. Because the treatment for epilepsy has specific and sometimes deleterious side effects, physicians determine who must continue to be treated and for how long. There is a complex social negotiation between doctor and patient, and a patient’s interest in avoiding or limiting the diagnosis of epilepsy may complicate the physician’s task.

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