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Harvard Med: The Story Behind America's Premier Medical School and the Making of American Doctors
     

Harvard Med: The Story Behind America's Premier Medical School and the Making of American Doctors

by John Langone
 
The great white marble quadrangle of buildings that comprise the physical heart of the Harvard School of Medicine is perfectly emblematic of a secular temple of medical science. But behind its gleaming facade, a richly complex human drama is played out year after year, little of which is seen by the world that regards Harvard Med as the greatest center of medical

Overview

The great white marble quadrangle of buildings that comprise the physical heart of the Harvard School of Medicine is perfectly emblematic of a secular temple of medical science. But behind its gleaming facade, a richly complex human drama is played out year after year, little of which is seen by the world that regards Harvard Med as the greatest center of medical education and research in this country. John Langone, who has had a lifelong interest in and familial and journalistic ties to the school, has done a revealing, unauthorized (despite the remarkable access he was given) group portrait of those students, faculty, deans, and gadflies who make Harvard Med what it is.

Who is accepted to Harvard Medical School? Who does the selecting? What qualities (besides academic excellence) do they look for in an applicant? What is it like, day in and day out, to be one of the future physicians or researchers trying to survive in its grip? How has the school reformulated its purpose and reformed its methods through its long history? These and virtually every other significant question readers may have about one of the world's premier medical schools are answered in Harvard Med, an engagingly written, anecdotal, always candid profile of an institution informally known as The Medical School of America.

Founded in 1782 in the closing days of the American Revolution, elevated to greatness under the leadership of University President Charles W. Eliot in the latter part of the nineteenth century, Harvard Medical School arrived at its present state of eminence through a process of change and leadership that will intrigue anyone who is curious about the forces that have shaped the medicalprofession in America.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Langone's loose, brisk narrative should be required reading for anyone seeking admission to Harvard Medical School, and it will enlighten anyone curious about how doctors are made. A former medical journalist with Discover, he is refreshingly candid (``right now... the third-year students are strictly fumblers and dilettantes, ham-handed impostors even...''). He sits in on tutorials, lab work and dissections of cadavers; interviews faculty and the school's director of admissions; and follows a dozen or so students as they cope with grueling pressures and rites of passage. He also frankly discusses the school's ``glass ceilings,'' which bar women and minorities from full professorships and departmental chairs, and he explores how Harvard Medical School students, residents and faculty, as well as affiliated hospitals and clinics, are attempting to close the gap between caregivers and patients by teaching empathy, disease prevention and health promotion. (June)
Library Journal
The inside dope from a medical journalist.
Booknews
Langone (Kennedy Fellow in Medical Ethics, Harvard) offers a detailed portrait of the students, faculty, and deans at the Harvard Medical School, revealing the history of the school, its selection process, and details of students' everyday life; and showing how students and faculty in 20 affiliated hospitals and clinics are trying to close the gap between caregivers and patients. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
William Beatty
Langone spent time in Harvard's pioneering fatigue laboratory, took Harvard Med's gross anatomy course, and interviewed students and faculty members, and he delved into the famed school's history to give us backgrounding. But most of his book deals with recent and current activities. There is much on the admission process, especially as it has applied to women, and Langone devotes considerable space to the struggles between research and practice, as reflected by both the students' developing attitudes and the faculty's direct and indirect stands on those two professional areas. Langone examines the changing relationships during the four-year curriculum between faculty and students, within the student body itself, and between students and patients and in addition shows how government and insurance have changed the physician-patient relationship. He concludes that "medical practice requires men and women who are devoted to people as well as to their own egos."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517593066
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/11/1995
Pages:
383
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.47(h) x 1.27(d)

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Meet the Author

John Langone is a veteran medical journalist who has been a senior editor at Discover and an associate editor at Time. He is also a Kennedy Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard. He lives in Rowayton, Connecticut.

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