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James Appleyard
Werdie van Staden


This issue contributes a further four international articles from the USA, Peru,
Germany and Japan on wellbeing, work-life balance and burn-out, which underline
the need for a person- and people-centered approach. The first paper explores,
documents and discusses the concepts and procedures for positive health,
particularly well-being and quality of life, within the framework of person centered
medicine and health. The importance ascribed to positive health is growing
internationally, with particular focus on Well-being and Quality of Life. The paper
identifies some useful and encompassing instruments for assessing these concepts,
which have general applicability and are substantially validated internationally.
These instruments and the principles underlying them need to be incorporated
into the education of medical students. Our second paper ‘on becoming a physician’
provides a qualitative analysis of medical students’ perspectives on their academic
environment, well-being and mental health. Positive human connections during
undergraduate years are key to dealing with adversity and helping to shape a
healthier generation of practitioners Once in practice as young physicians, our
third paper from Japan concludes that in order to continue their careers without
burning out and excel in various fields, a health system must be created that allows
for efficient learning and work–life balance for both mental and physical wellbeing.
Once in established practice the maintenance of professional relationships
and the nature of physicians employment within the health system become crucial
as is clear from our fourth article from Germany where satisfaction with working
conditions and income is high among German self-employed ambulatory doctors
and psychotherapists whereas being employed by employers who are increasingly
interfering with clinical practice – whether in a hospital or in an ambulatory
practice – appears to decrease satisfaction with working conditions among doctors.
This group is at higher risk of experiencing burn-out or have their well-being
compromised, and a decreased satisfaction with working conditions among

Article Details

Author Biographies

James Appleyard, International Association of Medical Colleges

President International Association of Medical Colleges; Board Advisor and Former President, International College of Person Centered Medicine; Former President, World Medical Association; Former Consultant Pediatrician Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, Kent, UK.

Werdie van Staden, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, and Director of the Centre for Ethics of Philosophy of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Board Member of the International College of Person-Centered Medicine