New Yorker staff writer and Harvard Medical School professor Groopman (Second Opinions ;
 

THE ANATOMY OF HOPE: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness

Jerome Groopman, Author
Jerome Groopman, Author . Random $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-375-50638-3
Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
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In this provocative book, New Yorker staff writer and Harvard Medical School professor Groopman (Second Opinions ; The Measure of Our Days ) explores the way hope affects one's capacity to cope with serious illness. Drawing on his 30-year career in hematology and oncology, Groopman presents stories based on his patients and his own debilitating back injury. Through these moving if somewhat one-dimensional portraits, he reveals the role of memory, family and faith in hope and how they can influence healing by affecting treatment decisions and resilience. Sharing his own blunders and successes, Groopman underscores the power doctors and other health care providers have to instill or kill hope. He also explains that hope can be fostered without glossing over medical realities: "Hope... does not cast a veil over perception and thought. In this way, it is different from blind optimism: It brings reality into sharp focus." In the final chapters of the book, Groopman examines the existing science behind the mind-body connection by reviewing, for example, remarkable studies on the placebo effect. By the end of the book, Groopman successfully convinces that hope can offer not only solace but strength to those living with medical uncertainty. (Jan.)

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