More aptly, what many doctors seem to think every patient needs to know: a blow-by-blow account of the cardiologist's daily care of cardiac and bypass patients. Halperin is obviously an involved, caring practitioner, but his focus here is squarely on the physician's point of view: What he does, what he sees, what he tells patients. This is entertaining, and a good bit of information gets passed along on the way (on the various anginal syndromes, for instance). Halperin and Levine first look at the history of cardiac disease and treatment (a big emphasis is on the Framingham study, which taught important lessons in prevention that aren't followed up enough here); and then move on to ""Circulation and It's Discontents,"" describing what goes wrong--atherosclerosis, angina, heart attacks, and sudden death. Treatment is next, and Halperin does explore ""the Bypass Dilemma."" The consensus here is that the operation is performed too often in this country, and while there does exist one absolute indication for the procedure (blockage of one of the main left coronary arteries), other indications are still hotly debated. The authors go on to describe such surgery in detail (""On the Altar of the Surgeon: A Triple Bypass, Moment by Moment""), and look at the recovery period, too. Readers will certainly get a behind-the-scenes look at procedures as well as the issues under debate in the medical profession. But for advice and help-making decisions, they need a more consumer-oriented guide such as Nora's wider-ranging Whole Heart Book, or Yalof's Open Heart Surgery.