ERIC WALL, M.D.
To the editor: In his recent thought-provoking article, Burnum (1) makes a compelling case in support of the scientific value of personal care. Since the notion of personal care is central to every definition of primary care, it seems worth examining this issue further.
According to Burnum, personal care encompasses the non-technologic aspects of health care that pay attention to a patient's "subjective experience of disease." I first question whether such a definition is, by itself, necessary and complete. "Personal care" describes its own focus—personalized or individualized caring—with impersonal care being a contradiction in terms. As such, I wonder whether
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WALL E. Personal Care. Ann Intern Med. 1980;92:721. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-92-5-721_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(5):721.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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