Though intended for medical students and those practicing the profession, these well-crafted anecdotes constitute an...

THE POWER OF PATIENT STORIES

LEARNING MOMENTS IN MEDICINE

Griner, a medical doctor, offers a straight-talking diagnosis of social lapses in medical training and what can be done to rectify them.

Technological advancement often means medical practitioners have to play catch-up. As medical practice globalizes and new technologies proliferate, doctors could become less familiar with their patients’ medical histories and, Griner warns, they could be too quick to defer to readily available solutions, thereby wasting money and endangering health. But thankfully, Griner says, there’s a cure. In a remarkable assemblage of both pre-existing knowledge and novel approaches drawn from a multitude of sources, ranging from Hippocrates to contemporary studies of the medical community, Griner makes a case for the importance of the human aspects of treatment, which he illustrates with a plethora of anecdotes. “Professionalism and sound clinical skills mark the good physician,” not only education and access to remedies, he argues. Griner’s experiences are manifold, and he recounts them with the sensitivity and intelligence one expects from a competent physician. He tells of the influenza epidemic in Boston in 1960, when Massachusetts General Hospital didn’t have enough respirators to go around, of performing an emergency resuscitation on a patient using stripped radio wires and two needles and of finding an aorta defect in a medical school classmate that’s still causing symptoms several years later. The various accounts are organized logically, with special attention paid to how they might be useful to students of medicine, including a series of reflective questions that follow each anecdote. Griner admirably balances his profession’s technical lexicon with a steady, well-paced narrative, which, taken as a whole, provides a varied but cohesive examination of many crucial issues facing bioethicists and the medical profession in general.

Though intended for medical students and those practicing the profession, these well-crafted anecdotes constitute an informed, fresh perspective of use to anyone interested in modern medical practice.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-1478178309

Page Count: 204

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

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A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

BROTHERS IN ARMS

BLUFORD HIGH SERIES #9

In the ninth book in the Bluford young-adult series, a young Latino man walks away from violence—but at great personal cost.

In a large Southern California city, 16-year-old Martin Luna hangs out on the fringes of gang life. He’s disaffected, fatherless and increasingly drawn into the orbit of the older, rougher Frankie. When a stray bullet kills Martin’s adored 8-year-old brother, Huero, Martin seems to be heading into a life of crime. But Martin’s mother, determined not to lose another son, moves him to another neighborhood—the fictional town of Bluford, where he attends the racially diverse Bluford High. At his new school, the still-grieving Martin quickly makes enemies and gets into trouble. But he also makes friends with a kind English teacher and catches the eye of Vicky, a smart, pretty and outgoing Bluford student. Martin’s first-person narration supplies much of the book’s power. His dialogue is plain, but realistic and believable, and the authors wisely avoid the temptation to lard his speech with dated and potentially embarrassing slang. The author draws a vivid and affecting picture of Martin’s pain and confusion, bringing a tight-lipped teenager to life. In fact, Martin’s character is so well drawn that when he realizes the truth about his friend Frankie, readers won’t feel as if they are watching an after-school special, but as though they are observing the natural progression of Martin’s personal growth. This short novel appears to be aimed at urban teens who don’t often see their neighborhoods portrayed in young-adult fiction, but its sophisticated characters and affecting story will likely have much wider appeal.

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2004

ISBN: 978-1591940173

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Townsend Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2013

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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