Description: This book is filled with short stories describing situations when love (agape) was not shown to patients.
Purpose: It is a guide to words and actions that healthcare workers can offer to enhance any patient's healthcare experience. This is a worthwhile endeavor and is met to some extent in this book.
Audience: Medical training needs to become a true medical education so doctors learn how to care for their patients rather than treat diseases. Scott Diering's book shows physicians how to begin the process and incorporate it into their practice of medicine, "according to the preface. It is true that the stories contained in the book relate to physician-patient relationships; most can be applied to any healthcare provider. I even find application in the classroom with the teacher-student relationship. The author is a psychologist-turned-emergency room physician and is a credible authority."
Features: This book begins by describing agape love and its basic qualities. Then a series of stories is presented that demonstrate a lack of one or more of the agape love qualities. Suggestions for changed behavior and new verbal communication styles are given. There is a very brief review of related literature. Headings in chapters include "Where's the Love", "Where's the Compassion", and "Do the Right Thing".
Assessment: This is an easy read and too true to be funny. The book presents no new revelations, just common sense that is not common enough simple but profound. The book is not especially academic in appearance or content, which might turn some physicians off. This is certainly a book worth having on the shelf for periodic renewal of why we care for people.