The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition

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Basic Books, 1988 - Health & Fitness - 284 pages
7 Reviews
Based on twenty years of clinical experience studying and treating chronic illness, a Harvard psychiatrist and anthropologist argues that diagnosing illness is an art tragically neglected by modern medical training, and presents a compelling case for bridging the gap between patient and doctor."From his experience of sorrow and suffering in east and west, Arthru Kleinman has given us all a blueprint for the restructuring of medical care...if physicians heed his advice, medical practice will be transformed for the better."--Howard Spiro, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine

"A touching and compassionate yet completely professional account of the psychological--indeed spiritual--dimensions of the doctorDpatient relationship that make the difference between fixing and healing."--Melvin Konner, M.D., Ph. D., author of "Becoming a Doctor"


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Review: The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, And The Human Condition

User Review  - Ashley - Goodreads

I recognize the importance of this book. Yet, I also worried that Kleinman swung too far to the psychosocial end of the spectrum. His focus on chronic pain, though interesting, limits the ... Read full review

Review: The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, And The Human Condition

User Review  - Emma Biegacki - Goodreads

The Illness Narratives is a necessity for any scholar of medical anthropology, public health, or healthcare management. Via primarily the use of case studies, Dr. Kleinman makes the case for a more ... Read full review


The Meaning of Symptoms and Disorders
The Personal and Social Meanings of Illness
The Vulnerability of Pain and the Pain of Vulnerability
The Pain of Living
Chronic Pain The Frustrations of Desire
Neurasthenia Weakness and Exhaustion in the United States and China
Conflicting Explanatory Models in the Care of the Chronically Ill
Aspiration and Victory Coping with Chronic Illness
The Social Context of Chronicity
The Creation of Disease Factitious Illness
Hypochondriasis The Ironic Disease
The Healers Varieties of Experience in Doctoring
A Method for the Care of the Chronically Ill
The Challenge of a Meaningcentered Model for Medical Education and Practice

Illness unto Death
The Stigma and Shame of Illness

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About the author (1988)

Paul Farmer is co-founder of Partners In Health and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has authored numerous books, including "Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights", and "The New War on the Poor."

Jim Yong Kim is co-founder of Partners In Health and the current President of the World Bank Group.

Arthur Kleinman is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University and Professor of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of numerous influential works including "The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, And The Human Condition".

Matthew Basilico is a medical student at Harvard Medical School and a PhD candidate in economics at Harvard University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Malawi, where he has lived and worked with his wife Marguerite.

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