Why would a successful physician who has undergone seven years of rigorous medical training take the trouble to seek out and learn to practice alternative methods of healing such as homeopathy and Chinese medicine? From Doctor to Healer answers this question as it traces the transformational journeys of physicians who move across the philosophical spectrum of American medicine from doctor to healer. Robbie Davis-Floyd and Gloria St. John conducted extensive interviews to discover how and why physicians make the move to alternative medicine, what sparks this shift, and what beliefs they abandon or embrace in the process.
After outlining the basic models of American health care-the technocratic, humanistic, and holistic-the authors follow the thoughts and experiences of forty physicians as they expand their horizons in order to offer effective patient care. The book focuses on the radical shift from one end of the spectrum to the other-from the technocratic approach to holism-made by most of the interviewees. Because many American physicians find such a drastic change too threatening, the authors also address the less radical transition to humanism-a movement toward compassionate care arising from within the medical system.