Lecture to examine caregivers and treatment providers

By Sue Johnston, April 27, 2007

    Dr. Arthur Frank of the University of Calgary will speak at the the Ninth Annual Carl Moore Lecture in Primary Care on Thursday, May 3.
The difference between health care providers as caregivers, rather than simply treatment providers, will be explored at the Ninth Annual Carl Moore Lecture in Primary Care on Thursday, May 3.

Sociologist Dr. Arthur Frank will share his perspective on how generosity emerges as the virtue that separates the caregiver from the treatment provider in the modern world of clinical medicine.

The University of Calgary professor believes that the field of clinical medicine has become increasingly crowded with standards of practice, billing and reimbursement procedures, corporate and institutional interests, tests, technologies and the unprecedented availability of information to patients.

This has resulted in a system that is more managerial and less artful, he says, with the role of caregiver being lost to the more administrative functions of treatment provider.

Generosity is the key to defining a caregiver, he says. At the lecture he will discuss the necessity and the difficulties of generosity in 21st century medicine.

The lecture is open to the public and suitable for all ages and professions. It will begin on Thursday, May 3 at 5 p.m. at Geraldo's at LaSalle Park, 50 North Shore Blvd. West, in Burlington.

Frank has been a visiting professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and the University of Sydney, Australia. His published works include many journal articles and book chapters, as well as books such as The Wounded Storyteller, At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness, and The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine and How to Live.

The annual Carl Moore Lecture is organized by the Department of Family Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and features speakers who have made an important contribution to the understanding or development of primary health care.

The lecture is named in honour of a former chair of the department who was a leader in innovation in primary care throughout his career. Moore served as chair of the fledgling family medicine department from 1975 until 1985, and worked with a group of community physicians to further develop family medicine as a recognized discipline in Canada.

He held numerous leadership roles at the international, national and provincial level, but maintained a local focus through his involvement with organizations such as the Hamilton Academy of Medicine, Hamilton District Health Council and the Rotary Club. He retired from McMaster in 1997.

The Department of Family Medicine is working towards raising $100,000 to continue funding this lecture in perpetuity, as an occasion for world-class speakers to provide a global perspective on development within the discipline.