Genetic Medicine: A Logic of Disease

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Genetics, writes Barton Childs, M.D., is a biological science that, unlike biochemistry and physiology, developed and prospered outside medicine, and, until recent decades, overlapped with the latter only occasionally in regard to rare diseases. But now, ... molecular genetics is exposing medicine to genetic concepts that provide new ways to think about disease, its causes and its pathogenesis. So we have no choice but to examine how the ideas of genetics are influencing medical thinking today, how they should do so, and how we might use them to make medical education more relevant to what is happening in communities no less than in laboratories. In Genetic Medicine: A Logic of Disease, Dr. Barton Childs evaluates how knowledge of the contributions to disease of both genes and experiences provides a rational basis for medical thinking. This genetic medicine, he explains, should help the physician to use the result of the laboratory to perceive the uniqueness of the patient as well as that of the family and the cultural conditions in which the patient's condition was engendered. He thus provides a conceptual framework within which to teach and practice a humane medicine. Genet

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About the author (1999)

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Barton Childs, M.D., is professor emeritus of pediatrics and biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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