The author, a pediatrician and father, presents the complexities of his specialty in this engaging and informative medical narrative. Drawing on case studies, Sanghavi details what can go wrong in each part of a child's body and what medical science can or can't do about it. Sanghavi guides readers through his medical routine: in Japan, working with a team of pediatric cardiologists, he assists in the successful operation on a three-month-old infant with a blockage on the right side of his heart. However, despite the advances of medical technology, some children cannot be saved. Bobby, a five-year-old with cystic fibrosis, undergoes treatment every few months for his damaged lungs, but despite the best efforts of physicians his condition will continue to deteriorate. Throughout these accounts of seriously ill children, the author's strong commitment to his patients and his profession shines through. Although Sanghavi's initial motivation was to increase the reader's awareness of pediatric medicine, he comes to a personal realization that he has to make a leap from seeing "lungs and hearts" to "seeing whole people." Especially moving is a description of the author's feelings of medical helplessness when his father was dying and there were no more treatment options. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Structuring his book to follow patient rounds at the Children's Hospital in Boston, where he did his training in pediatrics, Sanghavi takes the reader on a tour of discovery through eight organ systems of a child's body, beginning with the lungs and ending with the gut. He describes how these systems work and what happens when something goes wrong, recounting true case studies that range from the commonplace (broken bones) to the peculiar (a teenage boy with a positive pregnancy test). Sanghavi also shares his personal insights into the ideology of being a compassionate physician. An outstanding quality of this work is that it shows how the author handles controversial issues, such as abortion and child abuse, in an objective and level-headed manner. Sanghavi's humanism is encouraging in today's world of high-tech, bottom-line medical care. His very readable book is a good resource for parents, as well as educators, social workers, and healthcare personnel who interact with children. Recommended for wellness collections and high school, public, and medical libraries seeking authoritative personal narratives about medicine.-Deborah Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Dunwoody, GA
An elucidation of the human child’s organs, the how and why of illnesses that strike them, and such related issues as circumcision, vaccination, abortion, learning disabilities, and child abuse—all enriched by the author’s personal memories. Sanghavi (Pediatric Cardiologist/Children’s Hospital, Boston) organizes his text around organs, devoting a chapter each to the lungs, heart, blood, bones, brain, skin, gonads, and finally the guts. He uses stories of his young patients and their concerned parents to explain a great deal about anatomy, medicine, procedures, and problems. In the section on lungs, for example, the birth of a premature baby reveals how the lungs develop, the case of an asthmatic girl raises public health issues, and children with cystic fibrosis demonstrate the failed promise of gene therapy. The chapter on bones, which discusses medical identification of child battery, focuses on the case of Matthew Eappen, whose death resulted in the well-publicized 1997 trial and conviction of an English au pair (later released by the judge). Sanghavi’s patients come to him with conditions as common as chicken pox or diabetes and as rare as ambiguous sexuality, a brain tumor, or a malformed heart. They include children from such diverse backgrounds as a Boston slum, a Tokyo suburb, and a Navajo reservation. Into his insightful narratives of these youngsters, he weaves touching memories of his parents, especially his ailing father, and family stories of life in India. Poignantly, the chapter on skin, which opens in a neonatal care unit where a new father is warming his tiny infant son by holding him against his own bare chest, closes with the author throwing handfuls of his father’sashes into a river and feeling fine particles of the dust blow back onto the skin of his own face and hands. Sanghavi describes this work as part of his "quest to learn humanity," a goal he has heartwarmingly achieved. Appealing and informative.
A Map of the Child is a wonderful romp through the human body as seen through the eyes of a discerning and sensitive pediatrician. Sanghavi's organizes his material by organ systems, but this simply gives him a launching point to take the reader on spellbinding excursions. His writing delves deep into the heart of what medicine is and the miracles and hazards of the voyage of childhood.” Abraham Verghese, author of The Tennis Partner and My Own Country
“Dr. Sanghavi teaches by example and complements his stories with science, medicine, religion, philosophy and social commentary. Having watched Dr. Sanghavi's own development as a pediatrician, it is wonderful to observe the power that his personal learning experience can now have on others, be they medical colleagues, parents or general readers. Indeed, Dr. Sanghavi provides a roadmap and directory for understanding the impact of illness on children as well as those who care for them.” Philip A. Pizzo, MD, Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine
“Appealing and informative. . . An elucidation of the human child's organs, the how and why of illnesses that strike them, and such related issues as circumcision, vaccination, abortion, and child abuse-all enriched by the author's personal memories. Sanghavi describes this work as part of his "quest to learn humanity," a goal he has heartwarmingly achieved.” Kirkus Reviews
“An outstanding quality of this work is that it shows how the author handles controversial issues, such as abortion and child abuse, in an objective and level-headed manner.” Library Journal, starred review
“An example of expert storytelling-a true page turner. [Sanghavi's] profession has provided him with a wealth of illuminating stories that he weaves together seamlesly. . . Compelling, thoughtful and informative.” Albert L. Huebner, Bookpage