Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Feminism; Philosophy, Medical; Physician-Patient Relations; Family Practice; Women’s Health; Personal Narratives


Community Health | Other Medical Specialties | Preventive Medicine


Publisher's description: For centuries, traditional medicine has been infused with a masculine bias, often to the disadvantage of both doctors and patients. This book challenges prevailing views and offers a family-oriented feminist approach to the practice of medicine. Drawing on her 20 years of experience as a family doctor, the author dissects the assumptions underlying current teachings about child and adult development, sexual abuse, the family life cycle, and family systems. She exposes the ways in which women are often ignored, subordinated, or blamed in the modern medical system. For example, she notes that women are often held solely responsible for all problems in their families, including child abuse and battering. Candib then re-examines the doctor-patient relationship from a feminist perspective, showing how doctors-in-relation allow caring to take centre stage in clinical work, in contrast to the traditional medical emphasis on rationality and objectivity. By putting caring at the forefront, both caregivers and patients can begin to think about power in a new way, and to see the clinical relationship as healing and empowering, rather than unequal and combative.


Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective, By Lucy M. Candib. Published by Basic Books, 1995. ISBN 0465008259, 9780465008254.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective