No Apparent Distress A Doctor s Coming of Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine

No Apparent Distress  A Doctor s Coming of Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine Author Rachel Pearson
ISBN-10 9780393249255
Year 2017-05-09
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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A brutally frank memoir about doctors and patients in a health care system that puts the poor at risk. In medical charts, the term “N.A.D.” (No Apparent Distress) is used for patients who appear stable. The phrase also aptly describes America’s medical system when it comes to treating the underprivileged. Medical students learn on the bodies of the poor—and the poor suffer from their mistakes. Rachel Pearson confronted these harsh realities when she started medical school in Galveston, Texas. Pearson, herself from a working-class background, remains haunted by the suicide of a close friend, experiences firsthand the heartbreak of her own errors in a patient’s care, and witnesses the ruinous effects of a hurricane on a Texas town’s medical system. In a free clinic where the motto is “All Are Welcome Here,” she learns how to practice medicine with love and tenacity amidst the raging injustices of a system that favors the rich and the white. No Apparent Distress is at once an indictment of American health care and a deeply moving tale of one doctor’s coming-of-age.

What Patients Say What Doctors Hear

What Patients Say  What Doctors Hear Author Danielle Ofri
ISBN-10 9780807062630
Year 2017-02-07
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Beacon Press
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How refocusing conversations between doctors and their patients can lead to better health Despite modern medicine's infatuation with high-tech gadgetry, the single most powerful diagnostic tool is the doctor-patient conversation, which can uncover the lion's share of illnesses. However, what patients say and what doctors hear are often two vastly different things. Patients, anxious to convey their symptoms, feel an urgency to "make their case" to their doctors. Doctors, under pressure to be efficient, multitask while patients speak and often miss the key elements. Add in stereotypes, unconscious bias, conflicting agendas, and the fear of lawsuits and the risk of misdiagnosis and medical errors multiplies dangerously. Though the gulf between what patients say and what doctors hear is often wide, Dr. Danielle Ofri proves that it doesn't have to be. Through the powerfully resonant human stories that Ofri is celebrated for, she explores the high-stakes world of doctor-patient communication that we all must navigate. Reporting on the latest research studies and interviewing scholars, doctors, and patients, Ofri reveals how better communication can lead to better health for all of us.

Playing the Ponies and Other Medical Mysteries Solved

Playing the Ponies and Other Medical Mysteries Solved Author Stuart B. Mushlin
ISBN-10 9780813570570
Year 2017-03-23
Pages 192
Language en
Publisher Rutgers University Press
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With over forty years of experience as a sought after diagnostician, Dr. Stuart Mushlin has cracked his share of medical mysteries, ones in which there are bigger gambles than playing the ponies at the track. Some of his patients show up with puzzling symptoms, calling for savvy medical detective work. Others seem to present cut-and-dry cases, but they turn out to be suffering from rare or serious conditions. In Playing the Ponies and Other Medical Mysteries Solved, Dr. Mushlin shares some of the most intriguing cases he has encountered, revealing the twists and turns of each patient’s diagnosis and treatment process. Along the way, he imparts the secrets to his success as a medical detective—not specialized high-tech equipment, but time-honored techniques like closely observing, touching, and listening to patients. He also candidly describes cases where he got things wrong, providing readers with honest insights into both the joys and dilemmas of his job. Dr. Mushlin does not just treat diseases; he treats people. And this is not just a book about the ailments he diagnosed; it is also about the scared, uncertain, ailing individuals he helped in the process. Filled with real-life medical stories you’ll have to read to believe, Playing the Ponies is both a suspenseful page-turner and a heartfelt reflection on a life spent caring for patients.

God s Hotel

God s Hotel Author Victoria Sweet
ISBN-10 9781101561812
Year 2012-04-26
Pages 432
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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For readers of Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air, a medical “page-turner” that traces one doctor’s “remarkable journey to the essence of medicine” (The San Francisco Chronicle). San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu (God’s hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves—“anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times” and needed extended medical care—ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years. Laguna Honda, relatively low-tech but human-paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. God’s Hotel tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern “health care facility,” revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for the body and the soul.

Attending

Attending Author Ronald Epstein
ISBN-10 9781501121739
Year 2017-01-24
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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The first book for the general public about mindfulness and medical practice, a groundbreaking, intimate exploration of how doctors think and what matters most—safe, effective, patient-centered, compassionate care—from the foremost expert in the field. As a third-year Harvard Medical School student doing a clinical rotation in surgery, Ronald Epstein watched an error unfold: an experienced surgeon failed to notice his patient’s kidney turning an ominous shade of blue. In that same rotation, Epstein was awestruck by another surgeon’s ability to avert an impending disaster, slowing down from autopilot to intentionality. The difference between these two doctors left a lasting impression on Epstein and set the stage for his life’s work—to identify the qualities and habits that distinguish masterful doctors from those who are merely competent. The secret, he learned, was mindfulness. In Attending, his first book, Dr. Epstein builds on his world-renowned, innovative programs in mindful practice and uses gripping and deeply human clinical stories to give patients a language to describe what they value most in health care and to outline a road map for doctors and other health care professionals to refocus their approach to medicine. Drawing on his clinical experiences and current research, and exploring four foundations of mindfulness—Attention, Curiosity, Beginner’s Mind, and Presence—Dr. Epstein introduces a revolutionary concept: by looking inward, health care practitioners can grow their capacity to provide high-quality care and the resilience to be there when their patients need them. The commodification of health care has shifted doctors’ focus away from the healing of patients to the bottom line. Clinician burnout is at an all-time high. Attending is the antidote. With compassion and intelligence, Epstein offers a crucial, timely book that shows us how we can restore humanity to medicine, guides us toward a better overall quality of care, and reminds us of what matters most.

Healing Children

Healing Children Author Kurt Newman, M.D.
ISBN-10 9780698191648
Year 2017-06-13
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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An “astounding and miraculous ” (Madeline Levine) medical memoir by one of our nation’s leading pediatric surgeons-- the visionary head of Children’s National Anyone who has seen a child recover from a wound or a broken bone knows that kids are made to heal. Their bodies are more resilient, more adaptive, and far more able to withstand acute stress than adults’. In this inspiring memoir, Dr. Kurt Newman draws from his long experience as a pediatric surgeon working at one of our nation’s top children’s hospitals to make the case that children are more than miniature adults. Through the story of his own career and of the brave kids he has treated over the years—and their equally brave and tenacious parents—he reveals the revolution that is taking place in pediatric medicine. When he decided to become a pediatric surgeon, the field was in its infancy, struggling for esteem. Now, nearly forty years later, it is at the forefront of exhilarating new discoveries in everything from cancer research to mental health care. But few parents know how to access the best care for their children. Far too many find themselves frustrated and afraid. Dr. Newman wrote this book to help guide parents—not just of sick kids but of all kids —and to share his knowledge of what children need to thrive. A deeply human story with a spectacular cast of young heroes and heroines, Healing Children will convince you that we still have a lot to learn from our kids.

Life s Work

Life s Work Author Willie Parker
ISBN-10 9781501151125
Year 2017-04-04
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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In Life’s Work, an outspoken, Christian reproductive justice advocate and abortion provider (one of the few doctors to provide such services to women in Mississippi and Alabama) pulls from his personal and professional journeys as well as the scientific training he received as a doctor to reveal how he came to believe, unequivocally, that helping women in need, without judgment, is precisely the Christian thing to do. Dr. Willie Parker grew up in the Deep South, lived in a Christian household, and converted to an even more fundamentalist form of Christianity as a young man. But upon reading an interpretation of the Good Samaritan in a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he realized that in order to be a true Christian, he must show compassion for all women regardless of their needs. In 2009, he stopped practicing obstetrics to focus entirely on providing safe abortions for the women who need help the most—often women in poverty and women of color—and in the hot bed of the pro-choice debate: the South. He soon thereafter traded in his private practice and his penthouse apartment in Hawaii for the life of an itinerant abortion provider, focusing most recently on women in the Deep South. In Life’s Work, Dr. Willie Parker tells a deeply personal and thought-provoking narrative that illuminates the complex societal, political, religious, and personal realities of abortion in the United States from the unique perspective of someone who performs them and defends the right to do so every day. He also looks at how a new wave of anti-abortion activism, aimed at making incremental changes in laws and regulations state by state, are slowly chipping away at the rights of women to control their own lives. In revealing his daily battle against mandatory waiting periods and bogus rules governing the width of hallways, Dr. Parker uncovers the growing number of strings attached to the right to choose and makes a powerful Christian case for championing reproductive rights.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Author Anne Fadiman
ISBN-10 1429931116
Year 1998-09-30
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication. Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

Mercies in Disguise

Mercies in Disguise Author Gina Kolata
ISBN-10 9781250123992
Year 2017-03-21
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher St. Martin's Press
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"...a moving, suspenseful page-turner that's likely to become a classic of medical storytelling." —The Washington Post New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata follows a family through genetic illness and one courageous daughter who decides her fate shall no longer be decided by a genetic flaw. The phone rings. The doctor from California is on the line. “Are you ready Amanda?” The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most had begged her not to be tested—at least, not now. But she had to find out. If your family carried a mutated gene that foretold a brutal illness and you were offered the chance to find out if you’d inherited it, would you do it? Would you walk toward the problem, bravely accepting whatever answer came your way? Or would you avoid the potential bad news as long as possible? In Mercies in Disguise, acclaimed New York Times science reporter and bestselling author Gina Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events that many saw as providential. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution—not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma—fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process. A work of narrative nonfiction, Mercies in Disguise is the story of a family that took matters into its own hands when the medical world abandoned them. It’s a story of a family that had to deal with unspeakable tragedy and yet did not allow it to tear them apart. And it is the story of a young woman—Amanda Baxley—who faced the future head on, determined to find a way to disrupt her family’s destiny.

Working Stiff

Working Stiff Author Judy Melinek, MD
ISBN-10 9781476727271
Year 2014-08-12
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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“Fun…and full of smart science. Fans of CSI—the real kind—will want to read it” (The Washington Post): A young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner, and the hair-raising cases that shaped her as a physician and human being. Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. While her husband and their toddler held down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation—performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines Flight 587. An unvarnished portrait of the daily life of medical examiners—complete with grisly anecdotes, chilling crime scenes, and a welcome dose of gallows humor—Working Stiff offers a glimpse into the daily life of one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies—and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on television to reveal the secret story of the real morgue. “Haunting and illuminating...the stories from her average workdays…transfix the reader with their demonstration that medical science can diagnose and console long after the heartbeat stops” (The New York Times).

Black Man in a White Coat

Black Man in a White Coat Author Damon Tweedy, M.D.
ISBN-10 9781250044648
Year 2015-09-08
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Picador
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S TOP TEN NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK SELECTION • A BOOKLIST EDITORS' CHOICE BOOK SELECTION One doctor's passionate and profound memoir of his experience grappling with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans When Damon Tweedy begins medical school,he envisions a bright future where his segregated, working-class background will become largely irrelevant. Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. The recipient of a scholarship designed to increase black student enrollment, Tweedy soon meets a professor who bluntly questions whether he belongs in medical school, a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than in whites." Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of many health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care.

The Other Side of Impossible

The Other Side of Impossible Author Susannah Meadows
ISBN-10 9780812986457
Year 2017-05-02
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Random House
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You’re faced with a difficult health condition. You have exhausted medicine’s answers. What do you do? In The Other Side of Impossible, Susannah Meadows tells the real-life stories of seven families who were determined to solve the unsolvable. Their adventures take us to the outer frontiers of medical science and cutting-edge complementary therapies, as Meadows explores research into the mind’s potential to heal the body, the possible role food may play in reversing disease, the power of agency, perseverance, and hope—and more. When journalist Susannah Meadows noticed her three-year-old son, Shepherd, shying away from soccer practice, she had no idea it was the first sign of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The diagnosis was the first step of a long journey, physically painful for Shepherd and emotionally wrenching for Susannah and her family. But they pressed on, and using a combination of traditional and complementary medicine they beat the disease, and the odds. Meadows chronicles her own story, and the stories of families like hers who persisted when traditional medicine alone wasn’t enough. One boy who has severe food allergies undergoes an unconventional therapy and is soon eating everything. An organic farmer in Washington State tries to solve the puzzle of her daughter’s epileptic seizures. A physician with MS creates her own combination of treatments and goes from a wheelchair to riding a bike again. A child diagnosed with ADHD refuses to take medication and instead improves his life, and the life of his family, after changing his diet. Other families take on rheumatoid arthritis and autistic behaviors. Meadows takes you into the lives of remarkable people, their heartbreaks and triumphs. She includes new information about traditional and nontraditional medicine and the latest science on how the health of our gut bacteria is connected to wellness—and how the right foods play a key role in helping this microscopic population thrive. She also talks with scientists who study the traits and circumstances that may make some people keep going when others feel helpless. These researchers are illuminating the psychology of healing—how the mind, and asserting control over your body and health, can play a part in recovery. Fascinating, moving, and profoundly inspiring, The Other Side of Impossible gives us people driven by love, desperation, and astonishing resolve—a community of the defiant who share an extraordinary talent for hope and for fighting the battle for healing in today’s world and tomorrow’s. Advance praise for The Other Side of Impossible “In this affecting and illuminating book, Susannah Meadows emerges as the kind of sound, sensible, and invaluable friend you want by your side when medical disaster strikes. She brings a strong grasp of science, a writerly sensibility, and a good heart to the difficult subject of the present and future of healthcare. If you love someone, read The Other Side of Impossible.”—Jon Meacham “I laughed out loud more than once, choked up more than twice, and generally marveled at the lovely humanity and sharp mind at work. This extremely useful guide to never giving up is journalism at its most responsible, intelligent, and compassionate.”—Kelly Corrigan “The Other Side of Impossible is an amazing book—insightful, compassionate, and quite possibly life-changing.”—Curtis Sittenfeld

Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers

Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers Author Vanessa Grubbs, M.D.
ISBN-10 9780062418197
Year 2017-06-13
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins
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A young, hopeful doctor’s memoir—an unforgettable love story and an informative journey into the world of medicine and kidney transplantation that ultimately asks: What does it mean to let go of something that you love, even if it is life itself? When Vanessa fell in love with Robert, she had no idea that the relationship would thoroughly transform her life. Robert suffered from end-stage kidney disease, which required him to endure years of debilitating dialysis to stay alive, at least until his failed organ could be replaced by a kidney transplant. Although Vanessa was a primary care doctor, she developed a deeper understanding of the difficulties Robert faced with dialysis and in finding a donor. Despite their being early in their relationship, she volunteered one of her own kidneys—and discovered that she was a match. This life-affirming experience forged a bond that would become a pillar of Vanessa and Robert’s marriage—and the beginning of her new career. Motivated by Robert’s experience and her newfound knowledge, Vanessa became a nephrologist—a kidney doctor—and discovered far more about the realities of the specialty. Shaped by Vanessa’s remarkable experiences as a doctor, a woman of color, a mother, and a kidney donor, Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers is a love story, an exposé, and a clarion call for us all to consider the dualities of both loving and letting go.

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen Author Elizabeth Ford
ISBN-10 9781942872306
Year 2017-04-25
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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From the Executive Director of Mental Health for Correctional Services in New York City, comes a revelatory and deeply compassionate memoir that takes readers inside Bellevue, and brings to life the world—the system, the staff, and the haunting cases—that shaped one young psychiatrist as she learned how to doctor and how to love. Elizabeth Ford went through medical school unsure of where she belonged. It wasn’t until she did her psychiatry rotation that she found her calling—to care for one of the most vulnerable populations of mentally ill people, the inmates of New York's jails, including Rikers Island, who are so sick that they are sent to the Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward for care. These men were broken, unloved, without resources or support, and very ill. They could be violent, unpredictable, but they could also be funny and tender and needy. Mostly, they were human and they awakened in Ford a boundless compassion. Her patients made her a great doctor and a better person and, as she treated these men, she learned about doctoring, about nurturing, about parenting, and about love. While Ford was a psychiatrist at Bellevue she becomes a wife and a mother. In her book she shares her struggles to balance her life and her work, to care for her children and her patients, and to maintain the empathy that is essential to her practice—all in the face of a jaded institution, an exhausting workload, and the deeply emotionally taxing nature of her work. Ford brings humor, grace, and humanity to the lives of the patients in her care and in beautifully rendered prose illuminates the inner workings (and failings) of our mental health system, our justice system, and the prison system.