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Understanding Human Behavior in Health and Illness

Marjorie C. Meehan, MD
JAMA. 1977;238(22):2414-2415. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280230078039.
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Here is something unusual: a multiauthored book with a consistent viewpoint: uniformly clear, jargon-free style; an absence of repetition and contradiction; copious illustration with works of art; a comprehensive interpretation of human behavior using material "from learning theory to sociology, from psychoanalysis to genetics, from ethology to neurochemistry." All this was achieved by members of the Psychiatry Department of the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, who worked together closely to develop a course that they say "attempts a close integration between the many clinical aspects of human behavior and the behavioral sciences." It is a long book—more than 700 large pages. I wonder if all this material was included in the course and, if so, how much time in the medical school curriculum was allotted to it. A few chapters dealing with medical education presumably were not part of the course and perhaps could have been omitted


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