The Basis of Medical Practice

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Overall, medical practice is performed when physicians identify health concerns, including diseases, mental disorders, and physical injuries, and provide a treatment for their patients in order to properly cure them of their maladies. The appropriate basis for medical practice is a combination of physicians’ knowledge acquired from scientific research and education, and ethical considerations regarding the wellbeing of patients. Additionally, if no scientific support is available, patients must rely on intuition and experience in order to make a proper diagnosis.

On the whole, science plays a major role in the realm of medicine, as it is the foundation for the creation of new treatments and education. Science is defined as “…research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice” (Kuhn 70). The aspect of scientific research is important because as more diseases and medical conditions become recognized, scientists need to discover possible cures and develop medicine in order for physicians to treat their patients. For example, in A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness, neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran recounts how patients with “reflex sympathetic dystrophy”, also known as RSD, were research subjects in a scientific experiment to discover if there was a way to cure their unremitting pain (17). As a result of this experiment, a new and effective treatment for those in chronic pain was determined once it was discovered that the patients’ pain went away completely and mobility returned to limbs when mirrors were utilized (18). Through science, the answer to how physicians may prescribe a trea...

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...per medical treatment. V.S. Ramachandran states that “randomized, controlled trial research do not make clinical decisions for physicians; rather, they must be applied to individual patients and clinical situations based on value judgments, both by physicians and patients. Clinical decision-making must entail value judgments about the costs and benefits of available treatments” (91). A patient can practice medicine by deciding whether a certain treatment option is right for him or her. For example, an individual might choose to take medication instead of having surgery because of monetary costs, or decide which prescription drug to take based on the potential side effects. Overall, though a physician may advise an individual on a certain treatment to cure him or her of a medical concern, it is ultimately the patients’ decision on whether or not to carry it out.
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