On the bookshelf: August 2017

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Drawn to true stories of challenge and triumph, especially if they are set in a medical milieu? Care about improving the health care system? Love good writing that makes you stop and think about your own life? In this series, I'll share some of my favourite and most thought-provoking books on health, healing, and the system around it all. If you are lucky enough to have a local independent bookseller, please consider sourcing these books directly.

 This book tells the story of one family which begins when their 5-year old son woke up one morning with an uncontrollable urge to shake his head. The reader follows a 13-year odyssey of medication upon medication, treatment upon treatment, and a constantly changing regimen that left the boy and the family feeling like guinea pigs in an out-of-control experiment.

This book tells the story of one family which begins when their 5-year old son woke up one morning with an uncontrollable urge to shake his head. The reader follows a 13-year odyssey of medication upon medication, treatment upon treatment, and a constantly changing regimen that left the boy and the family feeling like guinea pigs in an out-of-control experiment.

 A must-read for everyone… through riveting storytelling and compelling research as well as his own story, Gawande challenges healthcare colleagues to learn to ask, to learn to listen, and to humbly accept that medicine is about improving life and improving the process of its ending.

A must-read for everyone… through riveting storytelling and compelling research as well as his own story, Gawande challenges healthcare colleagues to learn to ask, to learn to listen, and to humbly accept that medicine is about improving life and improving the process of its ending.

 The search for hope is the most urgent at a patient’s bedside and Groopman takes us into the lives of people at pivotal moments when they reach for and find hope—or when it eludes their grasp. Groopman, a Harvard Medical School professor and New Yorker staff writer says “I see hope at the very heart of healing."

The search for hope is the most urgent at a patient’s bedside and Groopman takes us into the lives of people at pivotal moments when they reach for and find hope—or when it eludes their grasp. Groopman, a Harvard Medical School professor and New Yorker staff writer says “I see hope at the very heart of healing."

 In riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, Gawande examines how success is achieved in health care. He explores the qualities he associates with diligence and ingenuity from the halls of American hospitals to the fields of war, and from prisons to a district hospital serving 1,400 villages in India. Gawande ends his book with 'Suggestions for Becoming a Positive Deviant', a call to arms to encourage us all to be better.

In riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, Gawande examines how success is achieved in health care. He explores the qualities he associates with diligence and ingenuity from the halls of American hospitals to the fields of war, and from prisons to a district hospital serving 1,400 villages in India. Gawande ends his book with 'Suggestions for Becoming a Positive Deviant', a call to arms to encourage us all to be better.

 This book stems from Servan-Schreiber’s personal experience in the field of cancer, as a doctor and as a patient. It is book is full of science and common-sense wisdom and provides compelling evidence and arguments for participating in our own health by supporting our deep natural capacity for healing. While ‘cancer’ is in the title, it translates to all areas of health.

This book stems from Servan-Schreiber’s personal experience in the field of cancer, as a doctor and as a patient. It is book is full of science and common-sense wisdom and provides compelling evidence and arguments for participating in our own health by supporting our deep natural capacity for healing. While ‘cancer’ is in the title, it translates to all areas of health.

 This book is a poignant recounting of the preventable death of a child told by the father. The pages retrace an 18-month battle with the people who failed this little girl and then tried to shirk their responsibilities. On a positive note, the book is also about the changes in hospitals systems and in healthcare providers’ attitudes that came as a direct result of this tragedy.

This book is a poignant recounting of the preventable death of a child told by the father. The pages retrace an 18-month battle with the people who failed this little girl and then tried to shirk their responsibilities. On a positive note, the book is also about the changes in hospitals systems and in healthcare providers’ attitudes that came as a direct result of this tragedy.