Patient-physician alliance: from Hippocrates to Post-Genomic Era



Patients need clinical competence, appropriate diagnosis and therapies in overcoming their disease. Yet this is insufficient. The illness experience tends to frighten people and the resulting emotional aspects could become relevant factors in coping with a sickness and disability. Hippocrates was the first to urge physicians to look beyond the physical features of diseases and to consider the patient as a unique psychosomatic entity. Additionally, the scientist spurred physicians to make the patient an active participant in combating the disease. According to Hippocrates, ‛The Medical Art has three actors: the physician, the patients and the disease. The physician and the patient must be allied against the disease in order to fight it.’ In the ‛Post Genomic Era’, an effective therapeutic approach merits a patient-physician participation, based on scientific understandings and human considerations. These recommendations are even more urgent for Rare Diseases.

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Simonetta Pulciani - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Domenica Taruscio - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

How to Cite
Pulciani, S., & Taruscio, D. (2017). Patient-physician alliance: from Hippocrates to Post-Genomic Era. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 53(2), 93–95. Retrieved from
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