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Open Access Highly Accessed Editorial

Personalized medicine: a patient - centered paradigm

Lotfi Chouchane1*, Ravinder Mamtani2, Ashraf Dallol3 and Javaid I Sheikh4

Author Affiliations

1 Genetic Medicine Department, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Education City, P.O. Box 24144, Doha, Qatar

2 Public and Global Health Department of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Education City, P.O. Box 24144, Doha, Qatar

3 Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research (CEGMR), King Fahad Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

4 Office of the Dean, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Education City, P.O. Box 24144, Doha, Qatar

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2011, 9:206  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-9-206

Published: 1 December 2011

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

An editorial about personalized medicine should perhaps start with a definition. Although several versions of such definition exist, we pay homage here to the oldest definition reported in modern medical literature. Sir William Osler (1849-1919) recognized that "variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions we know as disease". Modern day medicine recognized this fact and implemented its ethos since inception of its practice separating it from a general "one-size-fits-all" approach. A medical doctor would ask the patient about his/her suffering and prescribe a treatment suited to the patient's condition. Individualized evaluation and treatments, which include history taking, focused examination and specific laboratory and medical tests have now become routine in day-to-day medical practice. Personalized medicine, takes into account the needs of individual patients, and provides custom-tailored therapeutic approaches.