Based on 50 years of experience in the medical field, Dr. Berberich has written a plea to remember what often is called the Art of Medicine. This emphasizes the inter-relational aspects of medical care, the interactions between people in the health care field. The Art of Medicine, he argues, has been undermined by burgeoning technology, expanding complex business models, and an avalanche of tasks and requirements. Resulting burnout has short circuited the time and effort needed for compassionate rapport and sensitive communication. Each of ten sections in the book highlights a "good doctoring" ingredient. Written in a short format, each is designed to be read separately or as a continuum. It is the author's goal to redirect attention to the less data-driven aspects of medical care, and to do so across all specialties and personnel.
For example, listening to patients and fellow staff is an oft neglected art form. Filled with knowledge and experience, yet short on time, a clinician may be tempted to break silence and interrupt a patient's narrative. If that happens, valuable and impactful information may be lost, never to be retrieved. Or that information may resurface too late to be of use. Or interrupting may offend, which in turn can impact cooperation. Similarly, the way time is used, the way respect and trust are cultivated, deeply affect medical encounters at every level of care.
Dr. Berberich takes the reader through a series of touchstones to support The Art, presenting the patient's point of view along with other illustrative examples. Attending to the non-technical aspects of medicine during every encounter can only improve the overall quality of health care.