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Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor

Perri Klass, Author Basic $24.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-465-03777-3

W hen Klass's son decides to follow in her footsteps and apply to medical school, she writes a series of letters, advising him and every other young doctor on the intricacies of the field they're about to enter. But even though her subject is medicine, pediatrician and noted author Klass (The Mystery of Breathing ) effortlessly transcends all professions, ages and interests, appealing to anyone who has ever stepped inside a hospital or watched one of television's ever-popular medical dramas. She guides readers gently through the medical field, behind closed doors into the staff rooms and into the sharp minds of doctors, giving readers a glimpse of what it is like to work 100-plus hours a week, the intensity of interning and the overwhelming responsibility of getting it right, and what can be done when a mistake happens (as it inevitably will). Her advice is moral as well as practical: she speaks of the need for feeling a sense of common humanity with the homeless alcoholic who arrives at the emergency room. Klass concludes, “I write about medicine because people want to read about medicine... a world that many people see as closed, inaccessible, and full of fascinating life-and-death secrets... of characters and stories and plots” (June)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
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