2nd edition of Patientology

Reviews of Patientology: Toward the Study of Patients

Since I am about to release the second edition of Patientology, I looked up my reviews of the first version. I was pleased that they picked up on the salient points on what I was trying to say. I think it is an important topic – and so did they. Although she does not say so, Edgecombe, like Kus is an RN, PhD.



Fr. Robert J. Kus, RN, PhD
Insightful, Inspirational, and Challenging

In Patientology, nurse-anthropologist Dr. Pamela J. Brink makes a strong case for a relatively uncharted field of study, Patientology. This field studies the patient from the worldview of the patient, not the views of caregivers or behavioral scientists.
As a nurse-sociologist, my favorite part of the book was Dr. Brink’s call-to-action for qualitative researchers to do the basic research for this field. Only when sound qualitative research is complete can quantitative researchers do sound studies.
I think this short book will one day be seen as a classic in this field, as behavioral scientists (cultural anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists) and social engineer researchers (nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and social workers) build up more and more research in this fascinating area of study.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially clinicians and researchers interested in the care of patients.




N Edgecombe
Are some patients like victims of some crimes blamed for their illness?

A very interesting and thought-provoking perspective. Provides a detailed exploration on the relationship of patients with the Health Care Delivery System from a victimology perspective. Draw parallels to identified classification of victims of crimes and patient classification based on specific characteristics and how they are perceived by health professionals and health care organizations. Explores how patient as victim classification influences how patients are perceived and treated by health professionals. Do patients victim status result in disparity and inequity? Are some patients like victims of some crimes blamed for their illness. These questions and others are explored in this publication.


JLS, Ph.D.
An important book about how patients are treated -or mistreated — by the health care system.

Patientology is a must read for healthcare professionals and others who have anything to do with–or care about–patients. The author, Pamela Brink, a medical sociologist, anthropologist, and former nurse, coined the term “Patientology” to refer to the study of patients. Brink explains how the health care system often fails to understand the patient and the patient’s role in the system. Indeed, she points out that the patient is missing entirely from health-care organizational charts!

This short, but information-packed book covers such key concepts as the classification of patients (i.e. by social status, voluntary and involuntary status, etc.) and type of service provided (i.e. prevention or intervention). My favorite is the patient as a victim chapter, which illustrates how patients are victims of their social statuses, their pathologies, and staff attitudes, to name a few. Brink use of real-life anecdotes to illustrate her concepts makes Patientology interesting reading, accessible even to patients.

Thank you all!

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