Diagsis, the classification tool of medicine, serves an important social role. It confers social status on those who diagse, and it impacts the social status of those diagsed. Studying diagsis from a sociological perspective offers clinicians and students a rich and sometimes provocative view of medicine and the cultures in which it is practiced. Social Issues in Diagsis describes how diagstic labels and the process of diagsis are anchored in groups and structures as much as they are in the interactions between patient and doctor. The sociological perspective is informative, detailed, and different from what medical, nursing, social work, and psychology students - and other professionals who diagse or work with diagses - learn in a pathophysiology or clinical assessment course. It is precisely this difference that should be integral to student and clinician education, enriching the professional experience with improved doctor-patient relationships and potentially better health outcomes. Chapters are written by both researchers and educators and reviewed by medical advisors. Just as medicine divides disease into diagstic categories, so have the editors classified the social aspects of diagsis into discrete areas of reflection, including: Classification of illness; Process of diagsis; Phemen of uncertainty; Diagstic labels; Discrimination; Challenges to medical authority; Medicalization; Techlogical influences; and Self-diagsis. Additional chapters by clinicians, including New York Times columnist Lisa Sanders, M.D., provide a view from the front line of diagsis to round out the discussion. Sociology and premed students, especially those prepping for the new MCAT section on social and behavioral sciences, will appreciate the discussion questions, glossary of key terms, and classify mnemonic.
Annemarie Goldstein Jutel is an associate professor at Victoria University of Wellington and author of Putting a Name to It: Diagnosis in Contemporary Society, published by Johns Hopkins. Kevin Dew is a professor of sociology at Victoria University of Wellington.