For upper-division undergraduate/beginning graduate-level courses in Medical Sociology, and for Behavioral Science courses in schools of Public Health, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing. The standard text in the field, this best-selling introduction to medical sociology presents the most recent and relevant ideas, concepts, themes, issues, debates, and research findings at the cutting-edge of the field. It contains first-person accounts from patients, physicians, and other health care providers; is based on a worldwide review of the literature; provides the most recent health statistics, data, and studies available; and identifies the most important trends and issues.International comparisons of health care systems-Makes extensive use of international research findings. Helps students put various issues in perspective and develop a broadened view of those issues.Extensive discussion of health care reform in the U.S. Reflects the ongoing debate over universal health care and its sociological effect.Updates on current social patterns of infectious and chronic diseases-Such as SARS, West Nile, AIDS, and heart disease. Helps students understand the trends of infectious and chronic diseases.Material on doctor-patient interaction-Including the effect of the Internet on the doctor-patient relationship. Gives students current information on the effects the Internet has within the medical field.