On the bookshelf: February 2018

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.

 The Mayo Clinic is known the world over as a mecca for medical excellence and great ‘customer service’. This book is based on personal interviews with Mayo Clinic’s leaders, clinicians, staff and patients as well as observing hundreds of clinical-patient interactions. In this book, you get the history, the business lessons, the philosophy and practice of “patients first”, and inspiring stories from staff and patients.

The Mayo Clinic is known the world over as a mecca for medical excellence and great ‘customer service’. This book is based on personal interviews with Mayo Clinic’s leaders, clinicians, staff and patients as well as observing hundreds of clinical-patient interactions. In this book, you get the history, the business lessons, the philosophy and practice of “patients first”, and inspiring stories from staff and patients.

 As in Kitchen Table Wisdom, Dr. Remen uses wonderful stories to remind us of the power of our kindness and the joy of being alive. It was her grandfather who taught her that blessing one another is what fills our emptiness, heals our loneliness, and connects us more deeply to life.

As in Kitchen Table Wisdom, Dr. Remen uses wonderful stories to remind us of the power of our kindness and the joy of being alive. It was her grandfather who taught her that blessing one another is what fills our emptiness, heals our loneliness, and connects us more deeply to life.

 This is a mother’s story about her daughter’s medical journey who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when she was eight.  The story recounts the array of medical treatments with the attending emotional and physical ups and downs, not to mention the mother’s exhaustion stemming from worry and lack of sleep.

This is a mother’s story about her daughter’s medical journey who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when she was eight.  The story recounts the array of medical treatments with the attending emotional and physical ups and downs, not to mention the mother’s exhaustion stemming from worry and lack of sleep.

 Dennis McCullough, a family doctor and geriatrician, presents slow medicine, an approach shaped by common sense and kindness which calls for anticipatory attending to an elder’s changing needs rather than waiting for crises that force acute medical interventions. He clarifies that this is a plan for understanding, for caring, and for helping people live well during their final years.

Dennis McCullough, a family doctor and geriatrician, presents slow medicine, an approach shaped by common sense and kindness which calls for anticipatory attending to an elder’s changing needs rather than waiting for crises that force acute medical interventions. He clarifies that this is a plan for understanding, for caring, and for helping people live well during their final years.

 This book inspires you to believe in happy endings and “the power of one” as it chronicles the life and work of Dr. Paul Farmer whose life’s calling is to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. The story takes you from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba and Russia showing Farmer’s belief that the only real nation is humanity.

This book inspires you to believe in happy endings and “the power of one” as it chronicles the life and work of Dr. Paul Farmer whose life’s calling is to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. The story takes you from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba and Russia showing Farmer’s belief that the only real nation is humanity.

 Dr. Verghese documents the early years of the AIDS epidemic in Tennessee, besieged by young people dealing with what was deemed a plague. He writes with compassion about the conservative community as it confronted both the medical emergency and its deepest prejudices and fears.

Dr. Verghese documents the early years of the AIDS epidemic in Tennessee, besieged by young people dealing with what was deemed a plague. He writes with compassion about the conservative community as it confronted both the medical emergency and its deepest prejudices and fears.