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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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Left Alone in the Computer Tomograph

Left Alone in the Computer Tomograph

91 Left Alone in the Computer Tomograph
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

Modern medicine uses technology, even nuclear technology, in diagnosis and therapy. But not only this, technology comes between physician and patient. In diagnosis, the patient is examined by technology, perhaps even left alone in a computer tomograph. Test results are transmitted to invisible technologists and physicians via monitors. This is a tremendous advance in the treatment of the sick, but, nevertheless, it is frightening to some. People miss having a person to help them deal with their problems. They miss having a physician who personally examines, palpates, talks to them, treats them with his or her hands, and considers their personal fate. The image of high-tech medicine overlaid the successes of this medicine, creating fears that have pushed people to seek alternatives. The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is such an alternative; for example, acupuncture promised that no technology would come between physician and patient.

Keywords:   modern medicine, technology, computer tomograph, traditional Chinese medicine, physician

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