Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity

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With his “deeply informed and compassionate book…Dr. Epstein tells us that it is a ‘moral imperative’ [for doctors] to do right by their patients” (New York Journal of Books).

The first book for the general public about the importance of mindfulness in medical practice, Attending is a groundbreaking, intimate exploration of how doctors approach their work with patients. From his early days as a Harvard Medical School student, Epstein saw what made good doctors great—more accurate diagnoses, fewer errors, and stronger connections with their patients. This made a lasting impression on him and set the stage for his life’s work—identifying the qualities and habits that distinguish master clinicians from those who are merely competent. The secret, he learned, was mindfulness.

Dr. Epstein “shows how taking time to pay attention to patients can lead to better outcomes on both sides of the stethoscope” (Publishers Weekly). Drawing on his clinical experiences and current research, Dr. Epstein explores four foundations of mindfulness—Attention, Curiosity, Beginner’s Mind, and Presence—and shows how clinicians can grow their capacity to provide high-quality care.

The commodification of health care has shifted doctors’ focus away from the healing of patients to the bottom line. Clinician burnout is at an all-time high. Attending is the antidote. With compassion and intelligence, Epstein offers “a concise guide to his view of what mindfulness is, its value, and how it is a skill that anyone can work to acquire” (Library Journal).
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About the author

Dr. Ronald Epstein is a practicing family physician and professor of family medicine, psychiatry, and oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he directs the Center for Communication and Disparities Research. He is an internationally recognized educator, writer, and researcher whose landmark article, “Mindful Practice,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999, has revolutionized physicians’ view of their work. Dr. Epstein has been named one of America’s Best Doctors every year since 1998 by U.S. News & World Report. Visit Dr. Epstein at RonaldEpstein.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 24, 2017
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781501121739
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Medical (incl. Patients)
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology
Health & Fitness / Health Care Issues
Medical / Physician & Patient
Medical / Public Health
Self-Help / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dr. Steven D. Hsi, a family physician and father of two young sons, was diagnosed in 1995 with a rare coronary disease that caused his death five years later at the age of forty-four. Throughout his ordeals as a patient, including three open-heart surgeries, Dr. Hsi's outlook on the teaching and practice of medicine changed. In 1997 he began a journal intended for publication after his death. Written with the assistance of newspaper columnist Jim Belshaw and completed posthumously by Hsi's widow, Beth Corbin-Hsi, Dr. Hsi's writings urge his colleagues to become healers, to look at their patients as human beings with spiritual as well as physical lives.

"Every patient should read it, if only to be made aware that they are not alone with their thoughts. Every spouse of a patient should read it. . . . Every medical student and physician should read it to learn that the biology of the disease is really just a small part of the illness."--John Saiki, M.D., Medical Oncology, University of New Mexico


"Dr. Steven Hsi asks his fellow doctors to be more than physicians. He asks them to be healers. He says that when he thinks of healers, he sees traditional medicine men, people who are integral parts of their communities. They are in touch physically and spiritually with the people they serve."--Tony Hillerman


"Closing the Chart is built on the personal journals and experiences of Steven D. Hsi, M.D., as he travels on an intense 5-year journey from an assumption of health, professional success, and family stability to his progressive illness and eventual death. . . . Closing the Chart is both an engaging, page-turning read and a story told with so little artifice that you cannot close the cover unchanged."--Kenneth Jacobson, executive director, American Holistic Medical Association, Explore “There are lessons on every page, lessons to make us better caregivers, more discerning patients, and better advocates for family members and friends who are sick. . . . Every reader will take away different lessons from this book based on his or her role, age, and experience. This would be an ideal book for group study by medical and nursing students with some senior physicians, patients, and family members. What a great learning experience for all participants! . . . I exhort you to pick up and read this humble story. Nothing I have encountered in the medical narrative genre has been more worthy of my time.” —David J. Elpern, M.D, Psychiatric Services

A scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, bringing readers into the critical care unit to see one burgeoning physician's journey from ineptitude to competence.

In medical school, Matt McCarthy dreamed of being a different kind of doctor—the sort of mythical, unflappable physician who could reach unreachable patients. But when a new admission to the critical care unit almost died his first night on call, he found himself scrambling. Visions of mastery quickly gave way to hopes of simply surviving hospital life, where confidence was hard to come by and no amount of med school training could dispel the terror of facing actual patients.

This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy’s intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients’ rooms and doctors’ conferences to witness a physician's journey from ineptitude to competence. McCarthy's one stroke of luck paired him with a brilliant second-year adviser he called “Baio” (owing to his resemblance to the Charles in Charge star), who proved to be a remarkable teacher with a wicked sense of humor. McCarthy would learn even more from the people he cared for, including a man named Benny, who was living in the hospital for months at a time awaiting a heart transplant. But no teacher could help McCarthy when an accident put his own health at risk, and showed him all too painfully the thin line between doctor and patient.

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly offers a window on to hospital life that dispenses with sanctimony and self-seriousness while emphasizing the black-comic paradox of becoming a doctor: How do you learn to save lives in a job where there is no practice?
A riveting exploration of the most difficult and important part of what doctors do, by Yale School of Medicine physician Dr. Lisa Sanders, author of the monthly New York Times Magazine column "Diagnosis," the inspiration for the hit Fox TV series House, M.D.

"The experience of being ill can be like waking up in a foreign country. Life, as you formerly knew it, is on hold while you travel through this other world as unknown as it is unexpected. When I see patients in the hospital or in my office who are suddenly, surprisingly ill, what they really want to know is, ‘What is wrong with me?’ They want a road map that will help them manage their new surroundings. The ability to give this unnerving and unfamiliar place a name, to know it–on some level–restores a measure of control, independent of whether or not that diagnosis comes attached to a cure. Because, even today, a diagnosis is frequently all a good doctor has to offer."

A healthy young man suddenly loses his memory–making him unable to remember the events of each passing hour. Two patients diagnosed with Lyme disease improve after antibiotic treatment–only to have their symptoms mysteriously return. A young woman lies dying in the ICU–bleeding, jaundiced, incoherent–and none of her doctors know what is killing her. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Lisa Sanders takes us bedside to witness the process of solving these and other diagnostic dilemmas, providing a firsthand account of the expertise and intuition that lead a doctor to make the right diagnosis.

Never in human history have doctors had the knowledge, the tools, and the skills that they have today to diagnose illness and disease. And yet mistakes are made, diagnoses missed, symptoms or tests misunderstood. In this high-tech world of modern medicine, Sanders shows us that knowledge, while essential, is not sufficient to unravel the complexities of illness. She presents an unflinching look inside the detective story that marks nearly every illness–the diagnosis–revealing the combination of uncertainty and intrigue that doctors face when confronting patients who are sick or dying. Through dramatic stories of patients with baffling symptoms, Sanders portrays the absolute necessity and surprising difficulties of getting the patient’s story, the challenges of the physical exam, the pitfalls of doctor-to-doctor communication, the vagaries of tests, and the near calamity of diagnostic errors. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Sanders chronicles the real-life drama of doctors solving these difficult medical mysteries that not only illustrate the art and science of diagnosis, but often save the patients’ lives.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR • A powerful memoir of a dramatic year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life—from the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, whose iconic career in journalism has spanned more than fifty years

Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.”

Brokaw takes us through all the seasons and stages of this surprising year, the emotions, discoveries, setbacks, and struggles—times of denial, acceptance, turning points, and courage. After his diagnosis, Brokaw began to keep a journal, approaching this new stage of his life in a familiar role: as a journalist, determined to learn as much as he could about his condition, to report the story, and help others facing similar battles. That journal became the basis of this wonderfully written memoir, the story of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, contemplating what means the most to him now, and reflecting on what has meant the most to him throughout his life.

Brokaw also pauses to look back on some of the important moments in his career: memories of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the morning of September 11, 2001, in New York City, and more. Through it all, Brokaw writes in the warm, intimate, natural voice of one of America’s most beloved journalists, giving us Brokaw on Brokaw, and bringing us with him as he navigates pain, procedures, drug regimens, and physical rehabilitation. Brokaw also writes about the importance of patients taking an active role in their own treatment, and of the vital role of caretakers and coordinated care.

Generous, informative, and deeply human, A Lucky Life Interrupted offers a message of understanding and empowerment, resolve and reality, hope for the future and gratitude for a well-lived life.

Praise for A Lucky Life Interrupted

“It’s impossible not to be inspired by Brokaw’s story, and his willingness to share it.”—Los Angeles Times

“A powerful memoir of battling cancer and facing mortality . . . Through the prism of his own illness, Brokaw looks at the larger picture of aging in America.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Moving, informative and deeply personal.”—The Daily Beast

“The former NBC News anchor has applied the fact-finding skills and straightforward candor that were his stock in trade during his reporting days to A Lucky Life Interrupted.”—USA Today

“Brokaw doesn’t paste a smiley face on his story. Again and again, the book returns to stories of loss but also of grace, luck and the beauty of having another swing at bat.”—The Washington Post

“Engaging . . . [with] the kind of insight that is typical of Mr. Brokaw’s approach to life and now to illness.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Powerful and courageous . . . [Brokaw] looks ahead to the future with hope.”—Bookreporter
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