Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon

Kathy E. Magliato, Author
Kathy E. Magliato, Author Broadway $24 (261p) ISBN 978-0-7679-3026-0
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010

In her amazing memoir, Magliato belies the myth of surgeons as distant, cocky, robotic—and male. Yet she also bluntly explains why, as one of the world's very few female heart surgeons, she once relied on the psychological “full metal jacket.” “Sometimes, it was the only thing holding me together,” she says of the distance she needed during an insanely grueling training in cardiac surgery. Magliato describes the bloody trenches of the operating theater; the vulnerable patients who are saved or who die; and the juggling of a demanding career with her role as wife and mother. However, it's the doctor's tender heart that makes her far more than a “healing robot.” Recounting one patient's dying moments, Magliati acknowledges that she was unable to help the woman live but is proud that, at the least, “I gave her... a beautiful exit from this world. When it's my time to go, that's how I want to die. In the arms of my son.” Look for sobering statistics on women and heart disease, and an inspiring example of living and loving life to the fullest. (Jan.)

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