Medicine, practice and guidelines: The uneasy juncture of science and art
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While physicians are often portrayed as scientists, the defining character of medical practice is its being both science and art. Indeed, despite drawing on the ever-expanding knowledge base and range of therapies, medical practice remains fundamentally an interpersonal experience, drawing on the dynamic and rich interaction between practitioner and patient. With the goal of situating clinical practice guidelines in a broader context, we briefly explore models of medicine and the nature of clinical practice. The implications of these for guideline development and implementation are then examined as we present guidelines as an opportunity for enhancing medical practice and increasing both patient and practitioner satisfaction.
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