A Philosophical Guide to Practicing Medicine: Analyzing Phenomenological, Evolutionary, and Barthian/Thomist Approaches to Medical Practice
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Holton, Nicholas Faulkner
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U.S. medical students generally graduate with the same collective knowledge of medicine. Each student goes through a block of textbook basic sciences and then a block of clinical education. What separates doctors is not necessarily their knowledge of medicine, but how they use this knowledge in clinical practice. Within the field of philosophy of medicine there are countless perspectives on how to properly practice medicine. This thesis focuses on phenomenological, evolutionary, and Barthian/Thomist approaches to medicine each with their own definition of health as well as a set of advantages and disadvantages. The first three chapters explain each approach and the benefits or drawbacks each imposes on the doctor-patient relationship. The final chapter evaluates all three approaches on consistency, the ability to sort cases well, simplicity, and comprehensiveness. Through this evaluation, it is clear that a Christian Barthian/Thomist theological approach to practicing medicine is the best option for providing high quality healthcare to the patient.