Open Heart: A Patient's Story of Life-Saving Medicine and Life-Giving
by Jay Neugeboren (Houghton Mifflin)
Friendship and the healing arts are the subject of
Open Heart, a
riveting memoir of one man's battle with heart disease. When, in February 1999,
Jay Neugeboren, author of prizewinning novels and nonfiction, professor at the
On his side were four lifelong friends, all prominent physicians – a cardiologist, a psychologist, a neurologist, and one of the world's pioneers in AIDS medicine – who helped him sift through the contradictory advice and the uneasiness one feels when life lies in the hands of strangers. Guiding him through the system and relying on the strength of their childhood bonds, born from their
In Open Heart, Neugeboren sets out to understand how and why he nearly died, and to find out what we know – and don't know – about disease and illness in general. Joined by his friends, each of whom reflects on his own life as a physician, Jay examines the faith many of us place in the advanced technologies of modern medicine and how that often distracts us from the most fundamental health care tool – an engaged physician who listens and cares. What he discovers is that the qualities that lie at the heart of friendship also define what we hope for, and are losing, in our doctors.
At a time when our health care system continues to disappoint, Open Heart will resonate with every patient who has been shuttled between specialists, with every physician who has faced impossible time constraints and technologies, and with everyone who has helped a loved one through the maze of health care choices. Clear, compelling, comic, and inspiring, Open Heart is a well-crafted memoir that will open eyes and hearts – a memoir every patient, doctor, and care provider will want to read.
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