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The quality of medical care is influenced by what doctors feel, an aspect of medicine that is usually left out of discussions of health care today. Drawing on scientific studies, as well as on real-life stories from other physicians and her own medical practice, Dr. Danielle Ofri examines the impact of emotions on medical care. Contemporary media portrayals of doctors focus on the decision making and medical techniques, reinforcing an image of rational, unflinching doctors. But though the challenges in medicine are unique, doctors respond with the same emotions as the rest of us–shame, anger, empathy, frustration, hope, pride, occasionally despair, and sometimes even love.
With her renowned eye for dramatic detail, Dr. Ofri takes us into the swirling heart of patient care. She faces the humiliation of an error that nearly killed one of her patients and the forever fear of making another. She mourns when a long-time patient is denied a heart transplant. And she tells the riveting stories of doctors who have faced their own death, have faced a newborn dying in their arms, have faced the glares of lawyers. Emotions have a distinct effect on a doctor’s behavior and how they care for their patients. For both doctors and patients, understanding this can make all the difference in ensuring effective medical treatment.
“Here is a book that is at once sad and joyful, frightening and thought-provoking. In her lucid and passionate explanations of the important role that emotions play in the practice of medicine and in healing and health, Danielle Ofri tells stories of great importance to both doctors and patients.” –Perri Klass, author of Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor
“An invaluable guide for doctors and patients on how to ‘recognize and navigate the emotional subtexts’ of the doctor-patient relationship.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Ofri (Medicine in Translation: Journey’s with My Patients) offers an eloquent and honest take on the inner life of medical professionals….Ofri’s passionate examination of her own fears and doubts alongside broader concerns within the medical field should be eye-opening for the public — and required reading for medical students.” - Publishers Weekly
Praise for Danielle Ofri
“The world of patient and doctor exists in a special sacred space. Danielle Ofri brings us into that place where science and the soul meet. Her vivid and moving prose enriches the mind and turns the heart.” –Jerome Groopman, author of How Doctors Think
“Danielle Ofri is a finely gifted writer, a born storyteller as well as a born physician.” –Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings
“Danielle Ofri … is dogged, perceptive, unafraid, and willing to probe her own motives, as well as those of others. This is what it takes for a good physician to arrive at the truth, and these same qualities make her an essayist of the first order.” –Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“Her writing tumbles forth with color and emotion. She demonstrates an ear for dialogue, a humility about the limits of her medical training, and an extraordinary capacity to be touched by human suffering.” –Jan Gardner, Boston Globe