John Launer: Seeing the big picture—the distinctive value of generalism

Patients can benefit from medicine but can also be harmed by it. As people age, they are likely to develop chronic conditions and require more medical interventions. This can lead to overdiagnosis, polypharmacy, altered self-image, and decreased enjoyment of life. The rise of medical specialties has contributed to this issue, with a focus on treating specific organs rather than the whole person. Generalism, the practice of whole person medicine, is gaining importance in medical education and practice. Two new books, Generalism in Clinical Practice and Education and Medical Generalism, Now!, advocate for a more generalist approach in medicine to improve patient care.

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