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An ingenious new approach to educating doctors.

An exploration of “how physicians can see patients better.”

Nussbaum, chief education officer at Denver Health and author of The Finest Traditions of My Calling, agrees that the 19th-century introduction of science into medical education was an admirable revolution that converted medicine to a profession based on human physiology rather than folk beliefs. The result has been miraculous advances in curing diseases and repairing broken bodies, but people still get sick and die. Indeed, they often stay sick longer, take longer to die, and have limited access to appropriate cures. Nussbaum maintains that medical education, now based on the “textbook of the body,” should expand to include the “textbook of the community.” He makes his case by describing a pilot program at the University of Colorado, where he is a professor of psychiatry, and similar programs are being instituted at a few other schools. Medical students traditionally spend their third year in a hospital rotating through the specialties (surgery, obstetrics, psychiatry, etc.). The author describes seven students who do not follow doctors but patients, accompanying them to clinics, emergency rooms, and surgical procedures, as well as to their homes and communities. This approach, as Nussbaum demonstrates, has proven transformative, especially because research shows that “social determinants have more effect on a patient’s health than a physician’s clinical care.” The author also describes how, in the past few decades, medical schools have started paying greater attention to communication skills, and classes now include far more women and people of color. Nussbaum lays out his concepts with refreshing clarity, though he notes that his vision of medical education remains a work in progress. Given the success of the pilot programs so far, readers will hope that the work continues to improve and spread to more medical schools and hospitals.

An ingenious new approach to educating doctors.

Pub Date: June 25, 2024

ISBN: 9781421448947

Page Count: 408

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2024

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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