Engagement and Empowerment in Person Centered Medicine

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Juan E Mezzich
James W Appleyard
Michel Botbol


Engagement and empowerment are important concepts in Person Centered Medicine (PCM). Engagement refers to the act or state of personal interaction that is often crucial as part of thinking and implementing a medicine and health that are person-centered. Empowerment refers to the enablement of a person to fulfill his or her rights and responsibilities. These concepts are usually inter-related as empowerment tends to be carried out as part of an engagement process. While both concepts are relevant to human activities and human relations in general, they certainly have a major significance in the health field.Their place in PCM is related to both its principles and strategies. As such they have often being part of the institutional journey of PCM [1], now ten years old. Their conceptual place and implications in PCM are reviewed briefly next.

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Author Biography

Juan E Mezzich, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York

Born in Lima, Peru, of Yugoslavian and Peruvian ancestries. Medical graduate of Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University and president of the University Student Association.Psychiatric residency training, M.Sc. in Academic Psychiatry, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, all at Ohio State University, and diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.Professorial positions in psychiatry, sequentially at Stanford University, California, the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University.Doctor Honoris Causa at Athens University (Greece), Cordoba University (Argentina), Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University and San Marcos National University (Peru), and Cluj-Napoca University, Timisoara University and Oradea University (Romania). Honorary Professorships at Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University and University of Belgrade (Serbia), World Psychiatric Association Honorary Fellow, Simon Bolivar Award of the American Psychiatric Association, Past-President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, honorary member/fellow of several national psychiatric associations, and visiting professor and lecturer at academic institutions over 80 countries across all continents.Earlier academic and international work: Secretary & Chair (1983-1996) and Honorary Chair (2008-) of the WPA Section on Classification and Diagnostic Assessment; member of the ICD-10 Work Group and the DSM-IV Task Force; chair of the US National Institute of Mental Health Group on Culture, Diagnosis and Care; consultant on the development of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders (3rd Ed.), the Japanese Modification of ICD-10, the Third Cuban Glossary of Psychiatry, and the Latin American Guide for Psychiatric Diagnosis (GLADP); and director of the 1993-2003 WPA International Guidelines for Diagnostic Assessment (IGDA).Author/coauthor of over 300 scientific journal articles and book chapters (including sections on diagnosis,   epidemiology, and culture in Kaplan & Sadock's and Tasman et al’s Textbooks of Psychiatry), and of 29 books and monographs, including Person Centered Psychiatry (2017), Disasters: Mental Health Context and Responses (2016), Images of Latin American Psychiatry (2013), Coercive Treatment in Psychiatry (2011), Conceptual Bases of Psychiatry for the Person (2011), Conceptual Explorations on Person-centered Medicine (2010), Psychiatric Diagnosis: Challenges and Prospects (2009), Cultural Formulation: A Reader for Psychiatric Diagnosis (2008), Psychiatry and Sexual Health: An Integrative Approach (2006), Philosophical & Methodological Bases of Psychiatric Diagnosis (2005), Guía Latinoamericana de Diagnóstico Psiquiátrico (GLADP) (APAL, 2004), WPA International Guidelines for Diagnostic Assessment (IGDA) (2003), Cultural Psychiatry: International Perspectives (2001), Culture and Psychiatric Diagnosis: A DSM-IV Perspective (1996), Psychiatric Epidemiology (1994). Editor, Psychopathology, (2002-2010), Deputy Editor-in-Chief (2010-2011) and Editor in Chief (2013-  ), Int’l J Person Centered Medicine,  and editorial board member of 15 other medical journals in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.WPA Secretary General (1996-2002), Vice-President and President-Elect (2002-2005), President (2005-2008), and Council Member (2008- ). President (2009-2013) and then Secetary General (2013- ) of the International Network , now International College, of Person-centered Medicine.Current Work: 1) Person-centered Psychiatry and Medicine: Organization of the annual Geneva Conferences on Person-centered Medicine since 2008, and Conferences in London (2007), Paris (2008), and Uppsala (2008) on Psychiatry for the Person; thematic publication of several monographs and journal editorials & papers, and initiating the International Network for Person-centered Medicine in collaboration with the World Medical Association, the World Health Organization and 25 other international medical and health bodies, 2) International diagnostic systems, particularly ICD-11, Person-centered Integrative Diagnosis, and Latin American Guide for Psychiatric Diagnosis, through monographs, journal papers, and conferences, 3) Culture-informed clinical concepts and procedures, including the Cultural Formulation, the Personal Health Scale, the Multi-ethnic Bicultural Scale, and the Multicultural Quality of Life Index through publications, conferences and research projects.


. Mezzich JE, Appleyard J, Botbol M, Ghebrehiwet T, Groves J, Salloum IM, Van Dulmen S (2014): International journey and the development of Person Centered Medicine. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 4: 211-216.

. Mezzich JE, Snaedal J, van Weel C, Heath I (2010): Toward Person-centered Medicine: From disease to patient to person. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 77: 304-306.

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. Mezzich JE, Snaedal J, van Weel C, Botbol M, Salloum I (2011). Introduction to person-centered medicine: from concepts to practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17(2):330-2.

. Mezzich JE, Kirisci L, Salloum IM, Trivedi JK, Kar SK, Adams N, Wallcraft J (2016): Systematic Conceptualization of Person Centered Medicine and Development and Validation of a Person-centered Care Index. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, 6: 219-247.

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