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

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Susan Pories, Sachin H. Jain, Gordon Harper
Algonquin Books, Oct 11, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 236 pages
True stories of transitioning from medical school classrooms to the realities of the hospital: “Moving, eloquent, and often unforgettable” (Atul Gawande, MD).
After years of practice, doctors can sometimes seem aloof, uncaring, and hurried. What goes on in their minds? Were they always like that, or has their work changed them? And how do some physicians manage to retain their warmth and humanity over the course of a long career?
This “thoughtful and illuminating” book takes us into the day-to-day lives of third-year medical students at an Ivy League school—just starting out in their profession and dealing with patients face-to-face for the first time (Publishers Weekly). In their own words, more than forty of them reveal what it’s really like to enter this field, having their principles of scientific rigor and idealism tested as they cope with real people and real crises in real time.
This doctor’s-eye-view of the dramas—and occasional comedies—of the world of health care offers fascinating insights about clinical medicine and a behind-the-scenes look at a job that can range from repetitive routines to life-and-death decisions at any given moment. These stories “offer a unique vantage on illness, life, and struggle—capturing in vivid glimpses that crucial moment in a doctor’s life when one transitions from outsider to insider” (Atul Gawande, MD, New York Times–bestselling author of Being Mortal).
“Thoughtful and illuminating.” —Publishers Weekly

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

These essays by Harvard Medical Students are uneven, and somewhat detached, as they relate their feelings regarding the study of and practice of medicine. Read full review

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

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Breast cancer surgeon Pories, Harvard medical student Sachin H. Jain, and child and adolescent psychiatrist Gordon Harper have compiled approximately 50 firsthand student accounts born from a patient ... Read full review


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About the author (2012)

GORDON HARPER, M.D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist, is the director of the Patient-Doctor curricula at Harvard Medical School and the recipient of the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Child Psychiatry Fellows at Children’s Hospital of Boston.

SACHIN H. JAIN is a third-year medical student at Harvard. He is a tutor in medicine and public policy and has been awarded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, and the Galbraith Fellowship.

SUSAN PORIES, M.D., a breast cancer surgeon and a surgical educator and investigator, has been named one of America’s top surgeons and is a scholar in the Academy at Harvard Medical School.

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