Changing the conversation about health

New book examines relationship between healing and medicine

The College of Medicine’s Chair Dr Michael Dixon has praised a new book that examines in depth the relationship between healing and medicine.

A Doctor’s Journey Toward Their Integration is by Bristol-based Professor Paul Dieppe, an academic physician who changed his interests from biomedical research to healing late in his career in medicine.

The book, co-written with Cinder Hypki, focuses on Dieppe’s own experiences and stories of his encounters with patients, practitioners and others for whom healing has had a particular significance, as well as his rigorous research into the subject.

Dieppe, who qualified as a doctor in 1970 and is emeritus professor at the Universities of both Exeter and Bristol, explores the differences between healing, and modern medicine and opens himself up to accepting that spirituality and healing techniques have roles to play alongside scientific medicine, which currently has its base in materialism alone.

The College of Medicine’s Chair Dr Dixon said of the book, which was published in December: “As you turn the pages of this book, it will become clear that you are on a journey with a great doctor and a great healer.

“Professor Dieppe provides us with a unique insight into the power of healing and our potential both as patients and doctors to achieve it.”

Professor David Peters, a College of Medicine council member, also praised the book, saying: “In medicine we learn to discount what doesn’t fit our biomedical version of reality. Lately though, it seems ever clearer that Biomedicine is but a small part of the long art.

“‘Our profession should be thankful then, that this distinguished clinician and researcher has stayed faithful to his own experience and been so rigorously curious about inexplicable recovery and reconciliation.”

A Doctor’s Journey Toward Their Integration by Professor Paul Dieppe is out now