The Serious Physician becomes a Serious Patient
The author, a pediatrician, begins his book with a description of his vivid memories of suffering from a bad case of appendicitis as a young child, He proceeds to describe a series of serious illnesses and trauma that affected him in his adult life: a missed tumor in his jaw, a train accident resulting in major damage to his spine and nervous system, and then the unexpected discovery of leukemia, all of which test his endurance as a patient.
But what Prof. Porter so vividly presents is the additional challenge faced when the doctor becomes the patient. While stressing the amazing advances in medical technology and science that saved his life on a number of occasions, he draws attention to the lack of empathy from the professionals felt so frequently during his medical trials. As a physician, he has been frequently expected to tolerate his problems and to be a braver warrior than the average patient, when in reality, in such situations the doctor is still just a patient.
The author suggests that much of the solution lies within each of us, and that a positive approach to life and good social support can do much to help us through adversity.
This book is not a textbook for the medical profession, but rather the narrative confession of an senior physician who has had to face multiple testing experiences from the viewpoint of the patient.
Basil Porter is a pediatrician with years of experience in both academic medicine settings and health systems management. He is an emeritus professor of the Faculty of Health Sciences of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He is also an accomplished violinist and violist.
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