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Welcome to a doctor's office like no other, with none of the dry diagnoses, stone-faced delivery or confident cures we've come to expect of our miracle workers in white coats. As much poet as practitioner, Watts (Bedside Manners), a San Francisco doctor, offers small, poignant stories of 26 patients and the doctor who shares their complicated past, stark present and uncertain future. "The trouble with illness is that it's only logical in the abstract, not the human," Watts notes of one woman who talks endlessly about her intractable headaches. In this case, it's the Rx that surprises: "that there are times when more gets done in silence than in speaking.... Silence knows the right answer." Watts's patients discover it's not just the best medicine, but the best relationships that comfort them through illness. "He hadn't needed help from me at all," Watts writes of one patient. "All he wanted was to spend a moment with what he was up against, size it up, and then make his leap." A tincture for the soul, delivered with an elegant bedside manner. (Apr. 15)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.