Health Professions Education and Relationship-centered Care


Carol Tresolini, the Pew-Fetzer Task Force

December 1, 1994

The biomedical model has formed the foundation and defined the character of contemporary American medical practice and education. There is a growing perception, however, that the biomedical model cannot fully reflect the broad clinical realities of modern health care and that practitioners must have knowledge and skills that reflect the interdependence of biomedical and psychosocial factors in health. This report describes the concept of relationship-centered care in the context of modern health care and offers a framework for understanding the centrality of relationships. The report also describes how health professions education might begin to help students and practitioners learn about relationship-centered care. Finally, a set of principles designed to guide curricular and programming activities in health professions education are discussed.

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