Bukas Palad Foundation Inc., is a non-stock, non-profit and non-government organization. It is established in 1983, to respond to social and health problems of poorest people in Philippines.

The Clinica Sorriso (translated as Smile Clinic) was built in 1993 in the town of Igarassu in northeastern Brazil. It is the result of a solidarity based which was promoted in Italy when I returned from my first trip to Brazil. The clinic was opened in order to meet the health needs of the pupils of Santa Maria School, an activity which was started in 1969 in the city of Santa Maria where the school is located.

Cervical carcinoma is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, but especially in developing countries, where it is the most frequent cause of mortality 1.
The causes of cervical cancer can be attributed to poverty, lifestyle, inaccurate or lack of information that the population has regarding risk factors. There is also a lack of functional medical consultation services and limited access to health care centers

caretta_p.jpgCommunication and relationships in medicine: state of the art

There have been few changes in the life of man as profound as those which have happened in the biomedical sciences and in medical practice in the last few decades.

Enormous developments in the field of technology have brought about unimaginable progress in diagnostic and therapeutic ability and, consequently, the emergence of new branches of specialized disciplines, created to keep up with the rapid increase of knowledge and the ever more sophisticated methods of bio-technology. This has brought about a fragmentation of knowledge.For this reason, on the clinical level, a patient no longer finds him or herself under the care of just one physician, but of several specialists in different disciplines who frequently collaborate.

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Medical professionalism: a GP's perspective

A really good liver


I remember when I was a medical student the excitement of going round the wards with a keen doctor who would take us to feel a "really good spleen" or listen to an "interesting cardiac murmur".
Like my fellow students in our new, pristine white coats, I was very excited. However, something in me rebelled and a little voice said, "This isn't quite right".
It was not that we did not greet the patient, ask permission to examine and do all that medical etiquette and politeness required. I felt uneasy and could not articulate why.
One day my group was invited by the professor to examine a "really good liver".
We all trotted behind him, got to the patient's bedside and I recognised her distinctive face immediately.
I thought, "This isn't a liver, she's a person - my old teacher".
She had taught me in primary school. It is a lesson that remained with me throughout the rest of medical school and my practice of medicine. Patients have to be seen in their entirety and not as fragmented parts.


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petrini_p.jpgHealing the Healer

A subtle uneasiness may be felt by someone who introduces his talk about the art of medicine, when he himself does not have a degree in medicine. It’s like wanting to enter a place without authorization if it weren’t for the 40-years of professional practice in the simultaneous confrontation from the two perspectives:

that of the doctor and that of the patient. And yet, beyond all the legitimizing that comes from scientific learning and a specific profession, the relationship between these 3 – patient, doctor, and the art of healing – pertains to every man and every woman. Getting sick, and therefore becoming a “patient”, is a possibility that is part of human nature, in our mortality and vulnerability.

[1]Cfr. Gensabella Furnari M., Prefazione, in Id. (a cura), Il paziente il medico e l'arte della cura, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli 2005, p. 5


download intervention: pdf Petrini_en.pdf

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