Healers: Extraordinary Clinicians at Work

ISBN : 9780190650599

David Schenck; Larry Churchill
292 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Dec 2016
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In this groundbreaking volume, David Schenck and Larry Churchill present the results of fifty interviews with practitioners identified by their peers as "healers," exploring in depth the things that the best clinicians do. They focus on specific actions that exceptional healers perform to improve their relationships with their patients and, subsequently, improve their patients' overall health. The authors analyze the ritual structure and spiritual meaning of these healing skills, as well as their scientific basis, and offer a new, more holistic interpretation of the "placebo effect." Recognizing that the best healers are also people who know how to care for themselves, the authors describe activities that these clinicians have chosen to promote wellness, wholeness and healing in their own lives. The final chapter explores the deep connections between the mastery of healing skills and the mastery of what the authors call the "skills of ethics." They argue that ethics should be considered a healing art, alongside the art of medicine.


Chapter 1. Healing in Health Care: Eight Things the Best Clinicians Do
Chapter 2. Medical Rituals: Organizing the Healing Elements
Chapter 3. How Healing Happens: Reports from the Field
Chapter 4. Healing Traditions: The Role of Religion and Spirituality
Chapter 5. Patient Perspectives: Healing from the Other Side of the Bed Rail
Chapter 6. The Biology of Healing: Neuroscience and the Education of Healers (with Eve Henry, MD)
Chapter 7. Healing Thyself: Clinicians Talk about Their Own Healing Practices
Chapter 8. Ethics and Medicine: Healing the Wounds of Fate

About the author: 

David Schenck is Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Larry Churchill is Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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