An interdisciplinary project that aims at demonstrating the importance of humanistic understanding in the intellectual and everyday practices of medicine
Unlike any existing studies of the medical humanities, The Chief Concern of Medicine brings to the examination of medical practices a thorough---and clearly articulated---exposition of the nature of narrative. The book builds on the work of linguistics, semiotics, narratology, and discourse theory and examines numerous literary works and narrative "vignettes" of medical problems, situations, and encounters. Throughout, the book presents usable expositions of the ways storytelling organizes itself to allow physicians and other healthcare workers (and even patients themselves) to be more attentive to and self-conscious about the information---the "narrative knowledge"---of the patient's story.
Ronald Schleifer, Ph.D., is George Lynn Cross Research Professor of English and Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma.
Jerry B. Vannatta, M.D., is a David Ross Boyd Professor of Medicine and the John Flack Burton Professor of Humanities in Medicine at the University of Oklahoma.