Medical Philosophy: A Philosophical Analysis of Patient Self-Perception in Diagnostics and Therapy

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Columbia University Press, Oct 11, 2016 - Medical - 510 pages
This innovative book clarifies the distinction between philosophy of medicine and medical philosophy, expanding the focus from the ‘knowing that’ of the first to the ‘knowing how’ of the latter. The idea of patient and provider self-discovery becomes the method and strategy at the basis of therapeutic treatment. It develops the concept of ‘Central Medicine’, aimed at overcoming the dichotomies of Western–Eastern medicine and Traditional–Integrative approaches. Evidence-based and patient-centered medicine are analyzed in the context of the debate on placebo and non-specific effects alongside clinical research on the patient-doctor relationship, and the interactive nature of human relationships in general, including factors such as environment, personal beliefs, and perspectives on life’s meaning and purpose. Tomasi’s research incorporates neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and medicine in a clear, readable, and detailed way, satisfying the needs of professionals, students, and anyone who enjoys the exploration of the complexity of human mind, brain, and heart.

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Neuroscience Magazine: 10/10 - a Masterpiece!!!
In this seminal work, David Låg Tomasi presented the most recent research in neuroscience, medicine, psychiatry, and psychology with an incredible amount of information, data, and statistical analysis. The book is nevertheless a fun read even for non-experts, as it discusses in depth the mind-body problem with philosophical acumen and captivating insight. A must read! 

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“In his book, Dr. Tomasi defines the diverse underpinnings of Medical Philosophy and elaborates on how these underpinnings inform the field’s role in academics and society. A bold and visionary thinker, his analysis of diverse topics—such as patient self-perception, the mind-brain problem, the limitations of evidence-based medicine, the role of complementary and alternative medicine, and the impact of patients’ faith and/or connection to a higher purpose on healing—demonstrates how Medical Philosophy can help to shape our understanding of medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience.”
William Tobey Horn, MD
University of Vermont Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
(From the Foreword)
“Tomasi aims to explore the relationships between medicine and philosophy particularly with regards to neurosciences, psychiatry, and psychology, since these areas of medicine particularly address connections between mind and body. Tomasi provides a helpful table model of physician-patient relationships. […] Notable is the subheading, "experimental philosophy". Can medical philosophy be subjected to EBM? We shall see! […]Tomasi suggests that mathematical modeling is of value. He could not be more correct!”
Friedrich Luft, MD
Director of the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of the Charité Medical Faculty, Berlin, and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin
(From the Editor’s note)
“Viewing medicine in the perspective of patients, Dr. Tomasi succeeds to comprehend patients as integral human beings and not just as a particular case of a disease. Realizing a patient's uniqueness, and not considering him/her simply as an individual variation of a biomedical set of rules and social patterns, is an essential prerequisite for successful clinical practice. Addressing patients as humans engaged in looking for and constituting the sense of their life, while structuring their actions teleologically within the life world, is believed to impact immensely the process and outcomes of any treatment. Each patient is not just a living body and rational mind capable of judging about their health condition or perhaps of interacting with the attending physician; being a human, the patient is a source of undisclosed possibilities and unpredictable strength or disappointment.”
Alexander Gungov, PhD
Director of the M.A. and PhD. Program in Philosophy at the University of Sofia ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’, and Professor of Logic and Continental Philosophy at the Department of Logic, Ethics, and Aesthetics.
(From the Afterword)
“As 'teacher', one learns that it is not enough to "know the material." Without some fuller sense of those one is trying to teach, learning, if it happens at all, will be quite accidental. This, I think, is equally applicable to the practice of medicine. And it is precisely this sort of phenomenological and existential dimension that David Låg Tomasi calls for in this seminal work.”
Louis M. Colasanti, MA
Community College of Vermont, Educator and Writer
“A book with deep roots, captivating and inspiring, able to elicit the interest of someone who, just like me, has laid the foundations of her profession in classical medicine. A true challenge which Dr. Tomasi has been able to take up, offering us an absolutely new perspective and pushing us to look beyond what we are used to know.”
Ilaria Rubbo, MD
University of Verona / Central Hospital of Bozen-South Tyrol, Internal Medicine


List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction by William Tobey Horn
Chapter 1 A brief history of Medical Philosophy
Chapter 2 Philosophy as basic approach to Medicine
Chapter 3 Between Neuroscience and Phenomenology
Chapter 5 Complementary AlternativeTraditional Medicine
Chapter 6 Beyond the realms of this world
Chapter 7 Translational science
Appendix Empirical Research at the University of Vermont Medical Center
References and Further Readings

Chapter 4 The patient at the center of therapy

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

David Låg Tomasi works in the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit at the University of Vermont Medical Center, where he also serves in the Integrative Clinical Care, Research and Education Committees for the UVM Program in Integrative Health. He teaches at the University of Vermont, Community College of Vermont, VIC, at St. Michael’s College, and CVU Hinesburg.

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