As some of my readers may recall, I recently read and reviewed a wonderful autobiography of neurosurgeon Katrina Firlik and her experiences in the operating room (Another Day in the Frontal Lobe). Curiosity got the better of me and I thought I'd go digging around for more doctors who moonlight as authors. Here are the fruits of that search...
As I Live and Breathe
by Jamie Weisman
A memoir in which the author, born with a rare defect in her immune system, looks at illness and medicine from her dual perspectives as both a patient and a doctor, discussing the fickleness of disease, and the real desire of both patients and physicians for restored health.
One hundred days : my unexpected journey from doctor to patient
by David Biro
The author, a doctor in New York City, tells the story of his life-threatening struggle with the rare disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or PNH, discussing, among other aspects, his bone marrow transplant.
by Robert Pensack
This memoir by 43-year-old psychiatrist Pensack is really three stories in one: his battle to survive HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), a usually fatal hereditary disease of the heart muscle; the struggle to retain his sanity; and his simultaneous efforts to complete medical school. Accounts of heart failure, near-death episodes and months of waiting for an available replacement heart, followed in 1993 by the suspenseful, prolonged surgery at University Hospital in Denver, recovery, and beginning of what Pensack hopes will be a new life make for wrenching and engrossing reading.
Complications: A surgeon's notes on an imperfect science
by Atul Gawande
The author, nearing the end of eight years of training in general surgery, contemplates the nature of modern medicine, discussing the fallibility of doctors, the mysteries and unknowns of medicine and the struggle to know what to do about them, and the issue of uncertainty.
My own country : a doctor's story of a town and its people in the age of AIDS
by Abraham Verghese
Infectious disease specialist Verghese is a Christian from subcontinental India who earned his M.D. in Ethiopia, and living in various cultures has helped him to be open-minded toward and supportive of his patients, who currently are the veterans and civilians living in and around Johnson City in east Tennessee. His book covers the five years in the latter 1980s when AIDS began to make itself felt in the area and during which he treated gays, victims of tainted transfusions, and infected spouses.
What books would you add to this list?
*For more themed list fun, check out Listless Monday over at One Librarian's Book Reviews.