The Rhetoric of Medicine: Lessons on Professionalism from Ancient Greece

ISBN : 9780190457488

Nigel Nicholson; Nathan Selden
280 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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The Rhetoric of Medicine explores problems that confront medical professionals today by first examining similar problems that confronted physicians in ancient Greece. This framework provides illuminating entry points into challenges faced by the practice of medicine, enabling readers to understand more clearly their shape and operation in the modern context-as well as possible solutions to these problems. Topics covered include: larger cultural ideas about the body; tension between professional values and working for money; effective collaboration and competition with alternative healthcare providers; restrictions on political involvement that seem part of a physician's identity; maintaining a space for professional autonomy and judgment; mentoring that is effective but not exclusive; and physicians' recognition of themselves as patients as well as professionals. The Rhetoric of Medicine represents a unique collaboration between a classicist and a neurosurgeon, reflecting both their scholarly work and extensive experience as administrators. Together, these two experts combine their personal experience as professionals with careful analysis of what it means to be a medical professional, both in ancient Greece and today. The Rhetoric of Medicine is a call to interrogate the narratives and ideas that shape medical care and to revise and replace those that do not serve patient health. Advance Praise for The Rhetoric of Medicine "It is an incredibly rich story with lessons around money, competition and autonomy for doctors and for the patients they serve." - Sanjay Gupta, MD, Staff Neurosurgeon, The Emory Clinic, Atlanta, GA, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN


Chapter 1: Body
Chapter 2: Money
Chapter 3: Competition
Chapter 4: Restriction
Chapter 5: Autonomy
Chapter 6: Mentoring
Chapter 7: Self

About the author: 

Nathan Selden is Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and holds the Mario and Edith Campagna Endowed Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Oregon Health & Science University. He is also Chair-elect of the OHSU Professional Board. He took his B.A. from Stanford, a Ph.D. from Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar, and an M.D. from Harvard. In his clinical practice, he cares for children with complex brain and spinal disorders and performed the first surgical transplantation of neuronal stem cells in the world. He is author of over a hundred and twenty papers in peer-reviewed journals. In 2013 he was awarded a Parker Palmer Courage to Teach award by the U.S. Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He is currently Secretary of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and is past-president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Nigel Nicholson is the Walter Mintz Professor of Classics and Dean of the Faculty at Reed College. He took his BA from Oxford University, and his Ph.D. from; the University of Pennsylvania, and has been at Reed college since 1995. His research focuses on ancient Greece, specifically Greek athletics, Greek Sicily and Italy, and Greek medicine. He is the author of Aristocracy and Athletics in Archaic and Classical Greece (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West (Oxford University Press, 2016), and also edited a special Paedagogus Section for Classical World in 2015 on Literary Theory in Graduate and Undergraduate Classics Curricula. He served as President of the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest in 2006 and was named Oregon's Professor of the Year for 2005 by the Carnegie Foundation.

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