The Last Rotation

breath air illo.

The most memorable writing by physicians often comes about when the physician is knocked down by the very entity he or she strives to subdue: illness. Jerome Groopman’s The Anatomy of Hope is at its most intense and moving in the chapter where he reaches inward and describes his long struggle with back pain. Oliver Sacks’ wondrous late essays, in which he meditates on his own imminent end and the meaning of all that came before, glow with emotional resonance. In the hierarchical world of medicine, where doctors may have little experience with personal suffering and often remain emotionally disconnected from their patients, the doctor-writer who gets sick gains one benefit from suffering: a massively changed perspective.

Book review by Anna Reisman in The Slate Book Review- read more

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