Person-centered medicine - at the intersection of science, ethics and humanism

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Andrew Miles


Modern medicine places great emphasis on the study of organ systems and the use in practice of objectively measurable biological indices of dysfunction and disease. While no one lucid would argue against the fundamental importance of such an approach, a point can be reached where such an emphasis becomes disproportionate in the sense that this so-called objectification of the somatic ignores (or rejects) the human dimension of illness and risks reaching a point where the patient is seen as part of the disease, rather than the disease being seen as part of the patient. Western medicine has ventured dangerously close to precisely such a point.

Article Details

Author Biography

Andrew Miles, WHO Centre for Public Health Education and Training, Imperial College, London

Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Person Centered Medicine & Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Medical School, University of Buckingham, UK Professor Miles, MSc, MPhil, PhD is a senior public health scientist. He previously held professorships and senior fellowships at King’s College University of London, Queen Mary College University of London, the University of East London, the University of Westminster, the University of Surrey and the University of Wales.He is Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, a leading and highly ranked international periodical for public health policy and health services research published by Wiley Blackwell Ltd with high impact factor and citation rate and extensive world circulation.Professor Miles is National Director and Editor-in-Chief of the UK Key Advances in Clinical Practice Series, a major collaboration between medical Royal Colleges and UK specialist clinical societies in a multi-disciplinary contribution to the evaluation and development of clinical practice in the UK, resulting in the organisation of some 22 annually recurring national conferences and some 22 annually updated, extensively referenced clinical texts which serve to document current scientific evidence and expert clinical opinion for the investigation and management of common diseases, the results of which are widely disseminated across the medical community of the UK. The Series entered its 13th successful annual cycle in January 2010.He is Director and Editor-in-Chief of the UK Masterclasses in Effective Clinical Practice Series in collaboration with the medical Royal Colleges and specialist clinical societies which examines how ‘general research evidence’ derived from the clinical literature is successfully applied to the care of difficult individual patients as part of the development of UK knowledge-based clinical practice.Professor Miles is an accomplished teacher at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in public health and social medicine, and experienced in Master’s level course development and validation, and in university committee work and higher degree supervision at Master’s degree and PhD levels.He has published extensively in his field: over 50 edited textbooks in public health sciences and health services research, together with substantial numbers of original articles in leading peer-reviewed international clinical journals. He has contributed extensively to the international evidence-based medicine debate and to the development of thinking on the nature of knowledge for clinical practice. He has provided the intellectual leadership and organisational skills for 89 national clinical conferences and 26 national clinical masterclasses from 1998 to date. He regularly lectures at national and international conferences, and has made a substantial contribution to British medical education and clinical scholarship.


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