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Suburban Shaman: Tales from Medicines Front Line

Suburban Shaman: Tales from Medicines Front Line

Cecil Helman

Presents stories that teach us about ourselves and our attitudes to health and illness, whether we are deliverers or recipients of health care. This book takes the reader from apartheid South Africa, where the author did his initial training to the London of the early 1970s, where he forswore medicine to become an anthropologist and poet.
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Summary

'To be a good doctor you have to be a compassionate chameleon, a shape shifter - a shaman. Even if your adaptation to your patients' world happens at an unconscious level you should always work within their system of ideas, never against it...' So writes Cecil Helman after 27 years as a family practitioner in the suburbs of North London interlaced with training and research as a medical anthropologist, comparing a wide variety of health systems. This unique combination of frontline health worker and detached academic informs the many stories that make up this fascinating book. It also informs the author's shared insights into what these stories can teach us about ourselves and our own attitudes to health and illness, whether we are deliverers or recipients of health care.With humour and gentle humaneness, Helman's colourful stories take the reader on a journey from apartheid South Africa, where he did his initial training, to the London of the early 1970s, where for a short time he foreswore medicine to become an anthropologist and poet; from ship's doctor on a Mediterranean cruise to family practitioner in London; from observer of curative trance dances in the favelas of Brazil to consulting with sangomas in South Africa. While trained in the Western tradition and with many years of practice in that system, Helman's anthropological insight leads him to view illness in a wider personal, social and cosmic context, considering elements beyond the purely physical, as do shamans and other traditional doctors. In pleading for this age-old holistic approach, he celebrates family medicine which 'in its quiet and unassuming way, and every day of the week, is still at the very frontline of human suffering'.

Product Description

Title - Suburban Shaman: Tales from Medicines Front Line

Edition -

Author - Cecil Helman

ISBN 13 - 9781905140084

Imprint - Hammersmith Press Limited

Publisher - Hammersmith Press Limited

Date Published - 27/01/2006

Prize -

No. of pages -

Binding Type - Paperback

Dimensions - 129 x 198 x mm

Weight - g

Languages -