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Components of person-centered medicine in medical treatment and care

Jon Snaedal


Person-centered medicine has emerged as a response to the organ-specific, technical, fragmented medical treatment and care that has evolved during the last Century inside healthcare systems worldwide. Nevertheless, person-centered medicine is not a new concept and is rooted in ancient medicine, exemplified here by the medical culture of the ancient Greeks. The main components of person-centered medicine described here are the cornerstone for successful medical treatment and care. The physician needs to use his communicative skills for this purpose, employ attentive and empathic listening, be aware of the cultural, social and educational background of the patient and understand the expectations of the patient for the therapy ahead. For this to be possible, the physician needs to have the necessary professional competence and to adhere to the basic ethical principles of medicine.  He also needs to collaborate not only with the patient and in some instances with the patient’s family, but he needs also to collaborate with other healthcare workers within the therapeutic team or with individual professionals in healthcare. He needs to adhere to many of the principles of evidence-based medicine, but in a person-centered fashion. For this to be possible, the undergraduate medical curriculum needs to include these components as part of its teaching in addition to their being included within mainstream, continuous professional development programs.


Continuing professional education, medical care, medical treatment, person-centeredness, person-centered medicine, undergraduate medical curricula

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