Who Was Michael Balint and Why Should We Care?: Introduction

For a brief biography see: Michael Balint – An outstanding medical life.1 Balint’s son, John, was a distinguished professor of gastroenterologist and medical ethicist at Albany Medical College. I attended a lecture by him, and it was there that I first heard about Michael Balint and became interested in his opus magnum, The Doctor, His Patient and the Illness.2 The Sawyer Library at Williams College has a copy and I checked it out periodically over two decades, but found it hard going. Finally, in 2016, I bought a second-hand copy and decided to wade through it. Early in the book Balint asks: “Why does it happen so often that in … Continue reading

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