Memoirs by doctors on their intense profession of saving lives

What does the world look like to people who are demi gods for others.
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Trauma Room Two

by Philip Allen Green

About the book:  In every hospital emergency department there is a room reserved for trauma. It is a place where life and death are separated by the thinnest of margins. A place where some families celebrate the most improbable of victories while others face the most devastating of losses. A place where what matters the most in this life is revealed. Trauma Room Two is just such a place. In this collection of short stories, Dr. Green takes the reader inside the hidden emotional landscape of emergency medicine. Based on fifteen years of experience as an ER physician, he reveals the profound moments that often occur in emergency rooms for patients, their families, and the staff that work there.


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Escape From Shady Autumn Golden Acres Manor

by A.J. McNann

About the book:  Nursing burnout is on the rise. Every year, more exhausted, exasperated nurses opt to protect their own physical and emotional health by leaving the profession. Escape from Shady Autumn Golden Acres Lawn focuses on the long-term care nursing specialty, offering a candid, relatable view of that stigmatized arena. The author shares more than two decades of experience with the good, the bad, and the under discussed aspects of increasingly stressful nursing home work. Escape’s raw, honest view from within is a must-read for past and present LTC nurses, as well as anyone with a loved one in an extended-care setting.


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Cook County ICU: 30 Years of Unforgettable Patients and Odd Cases

by Cory Franklin MD

About the book:  An inside look at one of the nation's most famous public hospitals, Cook County, as seen through the eyes of its longtime Director of Intensive Care, Dr. Cory Franklin. Readers will be riveted by stories of strange medical cases and unforgettable patients culled from his 30-year career in medicine that spanned the 1970s through the 1990s, including some major moments in medical history like the AIDS epidemic and the deadly Chicago heatwave of 1995. We follow Dr. Franklin as he unravels a host of strange cases including the nurse with rare Munchausen syndrome, the only surviving ricin victim, and the professor with Alzheimer's hiding the effects of the wrong medication. Each chapter features stories centered on a medical topic like body temperature, medications, detecting poisons, and the art of "taking a history" Readers will come away learning how the practice of medicine has changed over the years, which will be insightful for patients, doctors, and medical students alike. Dr. Cory Franklin was an M.D. for more than 30 years and Director of Intensive Care at Cook County Hospital in Chicago for 25 years. In 1993, he worked as a technical advisor to Harrison Ford and was one of the role models for the physician Ford played in the film The Fugitive. Dr. Franklin is an editorial board contributor to the Chicago Tribune and the author of Chicago Flashbulbs. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Wilmette, Illinois.


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One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine

by Brendan Reilly M.D.

About the book:  Told by a unique voice in American medicine, this epic story recounts life-changing experiences in the career of a distinguished physician, and is described by The New York Times as “a true service [to history]. Dr. Reilly deserves a resounding bravo for telling it like it is.” Malcolm Gladwell agrees: “Brendan Reilly has written a beautiful book about a forgotten subject—what it means for a physician to truly care for a patient.”Every review of One Doctor noted its beautiful writing and compelling story, the riveting tension and suspense. “Remarkable with heart-pounding pace and drama” (Publishers Weekly); “a gripping, moving memoir” (Abraham Verghese); “a terrific read” (The Boston Globe); “an astonishingly moving and incredibly personal account of a modern doctor” (The Lancet). In compelling first-person prose, Dr. Brendan Reilly takes readers to the front lines of medicine today. Whipsawed by daily crises and frustra­tions, Reilly must deal with several daunting challenges simultaneously. As Reilly’s patients and their families survive close calls, struggle with heartrending decisions, and confront the limits of medicine’s power to cure, One Doctor lays bare a fragmented, depersonalized, business-driven health care system where real caring is hard to find. Every day, Reilly sees patients who fall through the cracks and suffer harm because they lack one doctor who knows them well and relentlessly advocates for their best interests. Filled with fascinating characters in New York City and rural New England—people with dark secrets, mysterious illnesses, impossible dreams, and limitless courage—One Doctor tells their stories with sensitivity and empathy, reminding us of professional values once held dear by all physicians.


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Internal Medicine: A Doctor's Stories

by Terrence Holt

About the book:  “Illuminates human fragility in tales both lyrical and soul-wrenching.” ―Danielle Ofri, New York Times Book Review In this “artful, unfailingly human, and understandable” (Boston Globe) account inspired by his own experiences becoming a doctor, Terrence Holt puts readers on the front lines of the harrowing crucible of a medical residency. A medical classic in the making, hailed by critics as capturing “the feelings of a young doctor’s three-year hospital residency . . . better than anything else I have ever read” (Susan Okie, Washington Post), Holt brings a writer’s touch and a doctor’s eye to nine unforgettable stories where the intricacies of modern medicine confront the mysteries of the human spirit. Internal Medicine captures the “stark moments of success and failure, pride and shame, courage and cowardice, self-reflection and obtuse blindness that mark the years of clinical training” (Jerome Groopman, New York Review of Books), portraying not only a doctor’s struggle with sickness and suffering but also the fears and frailties each of us―doctor and patient―bring to the bedside.


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What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine

by Rita Charon,Sayantani DasGupta,Nellie Hermann,Craig Irvine,Eric R. Marcus,Edgar Rivera Colsn,Danielle Spencer,Maura Spiegel

About the book:  A look at the emotional side of medicine—the shame, fear, anger, anxiety, empathy, and even love that affect patient care Physicians are assumed to be objective, rational beings, easily able to detach as they guide patients and families through some of life’s most challenging moments. But doctors’ emotional responses to the life-and-death dramas of everyday practice have a profound impact on medical care. And while much has been written about the minds and methods of the medical professionals who save our lives, precious little has been said about their emotions. In What Doctors Feel, Dr. Danielle Ofri has taken on the task of dissecting the hidden emotional responses of doctors, and how these directly influence patients.   How do the stresses of medical life—from paperwork to grueling hours to lawsuits to facing death—affect the medical care that doctors can offer their patients? Digging deep into the lives of doctors, Ofri examines the daunting range of emotions—shame, anger, empathy, frustration, hope, pride, occasionally despair, and sometimes even love—that permeate the contemporary doctor-patient connection. Drawing on scientific studies, including some surprising research, Dr. Danielle Ofri offers up an unflinching look at the impact of emotions on health care.   With her renowned eye for dramatic detail, Dr. Ofri takes us into the swirling heart of patient care, telling stories of caregivers caught up and occasionally torn down by the whirlwind life of doctoring. She admits to the humiliation of an error that nearly killed one of her patients and her forever fear of making another. She mourns when a beloved patient is denied a heart transplant. She tells the riveting stories of an intern traumatized when she is forced to let a newborn die in her arms, and of a doctor whose daily glass of wine to handle the frustrations of the ER escalates into a destructive addiction. But doctors don’t only feel fear, grief, and frustration. Ofri also reveals that doctors tell bad jokes about “toxic sock syndrome,” cope through gallows humor, find hope in impossible situations, and surrender to ecstatic happiness when they triumph over illness.  The stories here reveal the undeniable truth that emotions have a distinct effect on how doctors care for their patients. For both clinicians and patients, understanding what doctors feel can make all the difference in giving and getting the best medical care.   


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Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

by Atul Gawande

About the book:  In gripping accounts of true cases, surgeon Atul Gawande explores the power and the limits of medicine, offering an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge. Complications lays bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is―uncertain, perplexing, and profoundly human.Complications is a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.


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The Soul of a Doctor: Harvard Medical Students Face Life and Death

by Visit Amazon's Susan Pories Pagesearch resultsLearn about Author CentralSusan PoriesSachin H. JainGordon HarperJerome E. Groopman

About the book:  By the time most of us meet our doctors, they’ve been in practice for a number of years. Often they seem aloof, uncaring, and hurried. Of course, they’re not all like that, and most didn’t start out that way. Here are voices of third-year students just as they begin to take on clinical responsibilities. Their words focus on the odd transition students face when they must deal with real people in real time and in real crises and when they must learn to put aside their emotions to make quick, accurate, and sensitive decisions. Their decisions aren’t always right, and the consequences can be life-altering—for all involved. Moving, disturbing, and candid, their true stories show us a side of the profession that few ever see, or could even imagine. They show, often painfully, how medical students grow up, right at the bedside.


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When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

by Frank T. Vertosick Jr.

About the book:  The story of one man's evolution from naive and ambitious young intern to world-class neurosurgeon. With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick’s patients and unsparing yet fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain―the culmination of decades spent struggling to learn an unforgiving craft―illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.


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Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs: The Making of a Surgeon

by Michael J. Collins

About the book:  It looked for a while as if Michael Collins would spend his life breaking concrete and throwing rocks for the Vittorio Scalese Construction Company. He liked the work and he liked the pay. But a chance remark by one of his coworkers made him realize that he wanted to involve himself in something bigger, something more meaningful than crushing rocks and drinking beer. In his acclaimed first memoir, Hot Lights, Cold Steel, Collins wrote passionately about his four-year surgical residency at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs turns back the clock, taking readers from his days as a construction worker to his entry into medical school, expertly infusing his journey to become a doctor with humanity, compassion, and humor. From the first time he delivers a baby to being surrounded by death and pain on a daily basis, Collins compellingly writes about how medicine makes him confront, in a very deep and personal way, the nature of God and suffering―and how delicate life can be.


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Everything I Learned in Medical School: Besides All the Book Stuff

by Sujay M. Kansagra MD

About the book:  Delivering a baby, sleep deprivation, giving bad news, dissecting bodies, seeing death—the journey of becoming an MD is not an easy one. Join the author as he takes you through his four years at Duke Medical School. Through this book, he explores the world of medicine through fresh eyes and shares the serious, the stressful, the entertaining, the unbelievable, the struggles, the sick, the unexplainable, and the stories that taught him everything he learned in medical school (besides all the book stuff, of course).


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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle)

by Tracy Kidder

About the book:  This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”–as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.“Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with a force of gathering revelation,” says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr notes, “[Paul Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.”


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Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon's Odyssey

by Bud Shaw

About the book:  For readers of Henry Marsh's Do No Harm, Paul A. Ruggieri's Confessions of a Surgeon, and Atul Gawande's Better -- a pioneering surgeon shares memories from a life in one of surgery’s most demanding fields The 1980s marked a revolution in the field of organ transplants, and Bud Shaw, M.D., who studied under Tom Starzl in Pittsburgh, was on the front lines. Now retired from active practice, Dr. Shaw relays gripping moments of anguish and elation, frustration and reward, despair and hope in his struggle to save patients. He reveals harshly intimate moments of his medical career: telling a patient's husband that his wife has died during surgery; struggling to complete a twenty-hour operation as mental and physical exhaustion inch closer and closer; and flying to retrieve a donor organ while the patient waits in the operating room. Within these more emotionally charged vignettes are quieter ones, too, like growing up in rural Ohio, and being awakened late at night by footsteps in the hall as his father, also a surgeon, slipped out of the house to attend to a patient in the ER. In the tradition of Mary Roach, Jerome Groopman, Eric Topol, and Atul Gawande, Last Night in the OR is an exhilarating, fast-paced, and beautifully written memoir, one that will captivate readers with its courage, intimacy, and honesty.


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Confessions of a Surgeon: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated...Life Behind the O.R. Doors

by Paul A. Ruggieri

About the book:  As an active surgeon and former department chairman, Dr. Paul A. Ruggieri has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of his profession. In Confessions of a Surgeon, he pushes open the doors of the O.R. and reveals the inscrutable place where lives are improved, saved, and sometimes lost. He shares the successes, failures, remarkable advances, and camaraderie that make it exciting. He uncovers the truth about the abusive, exhaustive training and the arduous devotion of his old-school education. He explores the twenty-four-hour challenges that come from patients and their loved ones; the ethics of saving the lives of repugnant criminals; the hot-button issues of healthcare, lawsuits, and reimbursements; and the true cost of running a private practice. And he explains the influence of the "white coat code of silence" and why patients may never know what really transpires during surgery. Ultimately, Dr. Ruggieri lays bare an occupation that to most is as mysterious and unfamiliar as it is misunderstood. His account is passionate, illuminating, and often shocking-an eye-opening, never- before-seen look at real life, and death, in the O.R.


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