Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And 56 Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor

Oscar London, Author, Arlan Cohn, Author
Oscar London, Author, Arlan Cohn, Author Ten Speed Press $9.95 (120p) ISBN 978-0-89815-197-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Hardcover - 978-0-89815-255-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-2489-5
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London, an internist in private practice, offers 56 short essays on his profession that consist of alternating doses of slapstick and poignancy. For example, in moving tones he tells of his joy at consulting a dour hematologist who properly diagnosed a 24-year-old woman's elusive illness and saved her life. Then he makes an all-too-familiar, if well-phrased, complaint about being forced to look at other doctors' vacation photos. But there are many gems here: London tells of pet peeves (being called ""Doc''); derides medical conventions (in lecture halls after large meals doctors don't listen because ``blood is being massively shunted from brains to intestines''); rails against smoking (``my favorite punchline is to tell a smoker she's microwaving herself to death''); and promotes Valium over alcohol for relieving stress (``taken in moderation, Valium works immoderately well to get my tense patients through their days and nightsand me through minewith brain and liver cells intact''). Despite some overreaching for humorous effect, this is an entertaining, insightful book. (April)
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