This classic comparative study of medicine and national culture shows that while doctors regard themselves as servants of science, they are often prisoners of custom. The United States, England, Germany, and France have equivalent life expectancy rates, yet medical treatment differs enormously from country to country.
Medicine and Culture explores important and telling questions in this regard. For example, what determines the difference between how French doctors and American doctors interact with AIDS patients? Why is low blood pressure considered a sign of health in the U.S. and a sign of sickness in Germany? Why are hysterectomies, performed infrequently in France, among the most common operations in the United States? And why do American doctors perform significantly more cardiac bypass operations per capita than their English colleagues?
A foreword by the author examines today's trend toward evidence-based medicine while also addressing the substantial changes in medical culture since 1988, including the proliferation of alternative medicine and the changing face of medicine throughout Europe since the fall of Communism.