Introduction
Searching for the patient
in Patient voices in Britain, 1840–1948
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The Introduction lays out the collection’s efforts to reposition the patient at the centre of healthcare histories, providing a model for using new types of sources and reading familiar sources in new ways to draw out patient experiences. It explores a number of the key themes that are addressed throughout the collection, including user-driven medicine and the impact of shame and stigma on health outcomes, and the emergence of vernacular medical knowledge. The Introduction also sets out how the collection aims to help historians locate and develop contemporary healthcare relevance within their work, reflecting on how these historical tensions continue to shape attitudes towards health, illness and the clinical encounter. Each chapter in this collection presents a framework for understanding how this might be accomplished within specific historical case studies and in reference to related, pressing policy issues.

Editors: Anne Hanley and Jessica Meyer

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