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Person-centered medicine at the intersection of East and West

Sonya Pritzker, Marian Katz, Ka Kit Hui


This article examines the core qualities of contemporary biomedical notions of person-centered medicine alongside similar notions of person-centeredness in Chinese medicine. In person-centered biomedicine, we examine the central notions of patient agency, patient satisfaction and decision-making power, notions of the “whole person” in healthcare debates, the provider-patient relationship and the goal of personalized treatment. In Chinese medicine, we similarly discuss the central tenets of patient participation, holistic, individualized diagnosis and treatment and the role of the provider-patient relationship in both diagnosis and treatment. After comparing the overlaps and differences between these 2 systems, we suggest a model of enhanced East-West person-centered care that draws upon the values of each approach and provide an example of how we implement this model at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in Los Angeles, California, USA.

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