Health / Memoirs

Patients and Doctors
Life-Changing Stories from Primary Care
Edited by Jeffrey M. Borkan, Shmuel Reis, Jack H. Medalie, and Dov Steinmetz

"Insightful. Entertaining. But more importantly refreshing to the soul. Our patients always teach us things, yet how rarely can we explain this to others. This book of medical tales does just that." —Dr. Zorba Paster, host of Zorba Paster on Your Health

How patients heal doctors

In Patients and Doctors, physicians from around the world share stories of the patients they'll never forget, patients who have changed the way they practice medicine. Their thoughtful reflections on a variety of themes—from suffering to humor to death—help us to understand the experience of doctoring, in all its ordinary and extraordinary aspects.

In settings as diverse as Slovenia and Sweden, Cambodia and New Jersey, we learn what makes the healer feel graced with insight or scarred with misadventure. In Washington State, we anguish with patient and doctor alike when a young resident removes a screw from a little boy's foot; on the Israeli–Jordanian border, a woman goes into labor just as the air-raid sirens signal the beginning of the Gulf War. These compelling accounts remind us what is at stake in doctoring, reinforcing the value of stories in the teaching and practice of medicine: to calm, to validate, and to illuminate the human experience.

"These stories illustrate humane physicians at their best."
—Sharon Kaufman, author of The Healer's Tale

Jeffrey M. Borkan is director of research in the Department of Family Medicine at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He also runs a family practice in a remote part of southern Israel. Jack H. Medalie is professor emeritus at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Family Medicine, which he founded. Shmuel Reis, a family physician, is chair of the Department of Family Medicine in the Technion Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel. Dov Steinmetz is lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where he teaches family medicine to residents.


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August 1999
240 pp.          6 x 9
ISBN-10: 0-299-16340-7   
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-16340-2
Cloth $24.95 t

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