Paul Barbette was an accomplished physician with a good touch for his patients, as we can see here in the title page illustration of his The Practice of Physik of Dr. Paul Barbette..., published in 1675. Barbette (1620-1666 or so) was a celebrated Dutch physician whose many works were more a collaboration of experiences in his practice and classic works in medicine than they were of his own thought and creation. The image of the physician interacting with his patient seems to me to be much more charitable than in other Doctor-patient images of these times.
Barbette certainly was a product of his time, writing of diseases of the upper body and treating them in the sustained manner of the mid-17th century, plus that of superstition and ancient herbals. For example, the mugwort’s “old roots pulled from under the root of the mugewart” was a good curew for falling sickness, and must be harvested on the eve of St. John the Baptist “about twelve at t he night”. He was also not afraid to use and apply “Crab’s eyes” and hog’s blood. One thing he was not in favor of, however, was bleeding. Sweating, yes, but not bleeding. Perhaps though his most important contribution beyond accumulating a vast amount of medical information was his collection o patient histories and his interactions and interviews with them during the course of treatment. A good idea today, not much practiced or so it seems.
(Yes, the physician is determining the pulse of the patient in this image. The idea of the pulse is as old as Galen but not understood until about 40 years prior to the publication of this picture with the work of William Harvey (1578 – 1657). Well it was understood about a century before that with the work of Michael Servetus, but his publication on pulmonary circulation was almost completely destroyed and its author burned at the stake for his religious temerities, so it remained for Harvey to rediscover in another century.)