With Head, Heart and Hands, Make a Medical Professional

Abdul Jabbar Mehdi Salih

Publisher: Xlibirs Pages: 127 Price: (paperback) $29.99 ISBN: 9781493134465 Reviewed: March, 2015 Author Website: Visit »

Professionalism in medicine — the ability of physicians to go beyond strictly clinical practice to meet patients’ increased expectations and needs —- is a key aspect of today’s physician training, writes Professor Abdul Jabbar Mehdi Salih. With this book, the author, professor of surgery and head of the Academic Department of Surgery in the Dubai Medical College (Dubai), has created a primer on medical professionalism for those contemplating or pursuing medical studies. The book also serves as a guide for academics involved in teaching nonclinical areas, such as medical ethics and patient communication skills.

As the title indicates, the book covers three key areas of medical education. The author has used favorite quotes by Sir William Osler and St. Francis of Assisi to structure the book into its “head, heart and hands” categories. In the first section, “The Head,” the author offers advice on the all-important patient interview; presents an overview of clinical areas of study, such as internal medicine, dermatology and so on; and examines evidence-based medicine and patient ethics.

In “The Heart,” the author discusses the essence of medical professionalism, including the character students must exhibit to demonstrate their fitness to practice and what students should expect from teachers. Apprenticeship and medical training are covered in “The Hand.”

The last chapter wraps up all three aspects of physician training with the conviction that improving medical education will improve patient care.

Despite a few grammatical errors, the complicated subject is covered convincingly, and case studies help to lighten the narrative. However, Salih appears constrained by his use of the “head,” “heart” and “hands” categories. Content would be better served by organizing it into unique areas for the teacher and student, allowing for easier use by both groups, and by creating stronger segues between the topics.

Nonetheless, With Head, Heart and Hands provides useful information for medical professionals in training and those who teach them.

Also available as an ebook.

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