The heart of health care is the relationship between clinician and patient. What happens in the clinical encounter substantially affects health outcomes for patients and families. Highly effective encounters amplify the effectiveness of advances in medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, and systems of healthcare delivery. The quality of this core relationship also impacts the well-being of clinicians, whose calling to serve in their profession is rooted in a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
The challenges for clinicians to maintain healing relationships with their patients are enormous. Increasingly, healthcare professionals are called upon to relate to patients with more diverse lifestyles, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, national origins, economic status, and beliefs. Intertwined with these social complexities are the mental health and behavioral problems with which many patients struggle.
Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice, now in its 5th edition, gives practitioners useful clinical tools to address a wide range of patient care challenges. It also provides guidance about how to manage common situations, such as developing rapport, delivering serious news, or motivating patients to change health-risk behaviors. New chapters discuss the care of patients dealing with trauma or addiction to opioids. This book is also useful to those who teach behavioral medicine. It includes topics related to developing an evidence-based curriculum in the behavioral and social sciences, assessing the competencies of trainees, and educating for professionalism. These topics are particularly important in the context of an ever evolving healthcare system constantly buffeted by change.
One of the significant elements of the book is the recognition that the well-being of health professionals is critically important to caring for patients. As a profession, we often do not pay sufficient attention to the clinicians, many of whom become burned out doing the work they love. Chapters on mindful practice and the well-being of practitioners and trainees enhance the book.
With much new and evidenced-based content, this edition of the book provides insight and information not available anywhere else for those who seek to provide holistic, high-quality care for patients.
Eric S. Holmboe, MD MACP FRCP FAoME(hon) FRCPSCanada(hon) CAPT, MC, USNR-R
Chief, Research, Milestone Development and Evaluation Officer
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
Adjunct Professor, Yale University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University