Welcome evidence that the art of medicine is still being taught and practiced in a world where technology has all the...

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WHAT PATIENTS TAUGHT ME

A MEDICAL STUDENT’S JOURNEY

Straightforward account of Young’s time in a program that apprentices students to rural physicians.

The author, now a staff physician at the University of Washington, was a medical student there when she learned of WWAMI, a program that exposes medical students to rural medicine in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Her first placement was a month-long tour of duty in a remote Eskimo outpost where the standard garb for doctors consisted of jeans, hiking boots, and a stethoscope; her first lessons came mainly from watching and listening. Subsequently, she did hospital rotations in Pocatello, Idaho (pediatrics), and Missoula, Montana (internal medicine). With each assignment, Young’s responsibilities increased and she became more of a participant in patient care. She learned the art of connecting with patients and the importance of listening to their stories. By the end of her third year, in love with medicine as she had seen it practiced and yearning to move beyond the rural Pacific Northwest, she took a residency position in South Africa. The lessons there were harsher. With resources extremely limited, HIV skyrocketing, and tuberculosis and diabetes widespread, Young found that doctors had to choose whom to help; the choice was often simply to help those who had a chance to survive. Overwhelmed by disease and death, she nevertheless completed her residency and returned as a full-fledged general internist to Seattle, where she took on the care of patients in a community of refugees and the homeless. WWAMI, Young avers, gave her “intense glimpses into the human experience” and taught her that the patient’s story, the most human element in medical practice, is often the highest reward of doctoring. As she puts it, “Sometimes I enter a story and find I can bring a little light and relief to human suffering.”

Welcome evidence that the art of medicine is still being taught and practiced in a world where technology has all the glamour.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-57061-396-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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