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From The CriticsReviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Abbott Laboratories)
Description: This is one of the best books written on the role reversal that occurs when physicians become ill. It opens readers' eyes to the vulnerability and human nature of physicians.
Purpose: The purpose is to illustrate the complicated lives of doctors when they become ill, their emotions, their need for balance, and their identity. The author successfully breaks down the myth of invulnerability, opens readers up to the preciousness of life, and provides firsthand accounts of 48 doctors coping with their own mortality.
Audience: Anyone in healthcare will be moved and benefit immensely from this book. The author is a compassionate and well read clinician of both psychiatry and of the human spirit.
Features: Every chapter is engaging. There is an excellent chapter on self-doctoring and choosing doctors. The interplay between the physician's staff and hospital, the VIP treatment, and the insider versus outsider role bring to light the advantages and disadvantages of being an ill physician. While the physician may know what treatment to use and who the best specialist is, he also knows the prognosis, mortality, and morbidity. The issues of power and powerlessness in the role of patient highlight the complexity of treating those in the field of healthcare. The discussions of one's identity as a doctor and the loss of identity when one cannot continue in a career provide a rich platform for discussion.
Assessment: This is recommended reading for everyone in healthcare. This is one of the best books of the year.