By Marco Bobbio
Sophisticated lover of music and wines, witty, inconstant, acute thinker, egocentric, forge of original thoughts, shy, brilliant, highly educated, beautiful tenor voice, irreverent. Giorgio has been my mentor since I was medical student and I followed his thoughts for 45 years, which have gone by like this. In one breath. Giorgio Bert passed away February 29, 2022, at the age of 90. I spoke with him before Christmas while he was waiting for a complex surgery.
Slow medicine owes a lot to Giorgio Bert, one of Slow Medicine founder in Italy. He left us after an intense and curious life; he often invented new ideas with his friends in countless meetings for dialogues, appraisals, and projects. Gratitude, admiration, deep affection because he helped to found Slow Medicine. A teacher for all of us, a wise man, who loved life. He was able to express in simple words the extraordinary depth of a knowledge that could range in every area, from medicine to literature to philosophy.
In 2011 he contributed in a fundamental way to the definition of the Slow Medicine’s manifesto choosing the three adjectives identifying our philosophy (measured, respectful and equitable) and to the evolution of Slow Medicine activities in subsequent years.
Medical doctor, cardiologist, he worked as investigator in United Kingdom at the beginning of immunology. He was former Professor of Medical Semeiotics at the University of Turin, and from the late 1980s has deepened the study on doctor-patient communication, on the systemic aspects of health and disease, on the logic of clinical reasoning. The need to combine evidence-based medicine with medicine that is more open to the humanistic, relational, communicative, personal aspects of the doctor-patient relationship led him to deepen and develop a counseling method applicable to healthcare areas and to develop a conception of narrative medicine as ways of meeting the patient’s world of values, beliefs, and expectations.
Author of many texts on social medicine, clinical methodology and communication in the health field, he has published some of the most important Italian texts on Narrative Medicine.
He made fundamental contributions in the two books we wrote with the Slow Medicine’s Board:
- Slow Medicine perché una medicina sobria, rispettosa e giusta è possibile. Slow Medicine editore 2011
- Le parole della medicina che cambia. Un dizionario critico. Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore Roma 2017
Giorgio Bert died on January 29, in Italy.