THE LOST ART OF HEALING by Bernard Lown

THE LOST ART OF HEALING

KIRKUS REVIEW

 The engaging memoirs of a distinguished physician who uses human interest stories to get across his message that healing the patient must once again be the focus of medicine. A cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a co-founder of Physicians Against Nuclear War, Lown has some 45 years of experience in doctor-patient relations. In his view the crisis in health care today isn't about ballooning costs or malpractice suits but about the fact that ``medicine has lost its way if not its soul.'' His central thesis is that the medical profession has been losing its focus on healing, due in part to a romance with high technology. Lown, whose career has encompassed both research and clinical practice, acknowledges wryly that his own cardiological research has facilitated what he most deplores: the advance of technology and with it the depersonalization of medicine. Dr. Samuel A. Levine, Lown's mentor, appears in many of the stories here, for it was he who early on shaped Lown's ideas of what doctoring was all about. Stories featuring Levine demonstrate how the best diagnosticians combine the science of history-taking with the art of listening to the patient, and it is Levine who shows how the words a physician chooses can have a powerful impact on a patient's well-being. Lown, who has passed his 70th birthday, writes with compassion about the challenges of caring for the elderly, and his essay on death and dying should be required reading for all would-be doctors. Thoughtful essays and thought-provoking stories offering hope that medicine has not yet entirely lost its human face.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-82525-3
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996




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