Our Present Complaint

Author: Charles E. Rosenberg
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801887154
Size: 46.54 MB
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Charles E. Rosenberg, one of the world's most influential historians of medicine, presents a fascinating analysis of the current tensions in American medicine. Situating these tensions within their historical and social contexts, Rosenberg investigates the fundamental characteristics of medicine: how we think about disease, how the medical profession thinks about itself and its moral and intellectual responsibilities, and what prospective patients—all of us—expect from medicine and the medical profession. He explores the nature and definition of disease and how ideas of disease causation reflect social values and cultural negotiations. His analyses of alternative medicine and bioethics consider the historically specific ways in which we define and seek to control what is appropriately medical. At a time when clinical care and biomedical research generate as much angst as they offer cures, this volume provides valuable insight into how the practice of medicine has evolved, where it is going, and how lessons from history can improve its prognosis.

Better Than Well American Medicine Meets The American Dream

Author: Carl Elliott
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393325652
Size: 28.72 MB
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An examination of "enhancement technologies" in America considers the pervasiveness of self-improvement drugs and procedures in spite of society's general unease about their use, considering the reasons why people obsessively pursue self-happiness through conformist methods. Reprint. 13,000 first printing.

Breathing Space

Author: Gregg Mitman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300138320
Size: 70.16 MB
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Allergy is the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. More than fifty million Americans suffer from allergies, and they spend an estimated $18 billion coping with them. Yet despite advances in biomedicine and enormous investment in research over the past fifty years, the burden of allergic disease continues to grow. Why have we failed to reverse this trend? Breathing Space offers an intimate portrait of how allergic disease has shaped American culture, landscape, and life. Drawing on environmental, medical, and cultural history and the life stories of people, plants, and insects, Mitman traces how America’s changing environment from the late 1800s to the present day has led to the epidemic growth of allergic disease. We have seen a never-ending stream of solutions to combat allergies, from hay fever resorts, herbicides, and air-conditioned homes to numerous potions and pills. But, as Mitman shows, despite the quest for a magic bullet, none of the attempted solutions has succeeded. Until we address how our changing environment—physical, biological, social, and economic—has helped to create America’s allergic landscape, that hoped-for success will continue to elude us.

Remaking The American Patient

Author: Nancy Tomes
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469622785
Size: 64.15 MB
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In a work that spans the twentieth century, Nancy Tomes questions the popular--and largely unexamined--idea that in order to get good health care, people must learn to shop for it. Remaking the American Patient explores the consequences of the consumer economy and American medicine having come of age at exactly the same time. Tracing the robust development of advertising, marketing, and public relations within the medical profession and the vast realm we now think of as "health care," Tomes considers what it means to be a "good" patient. As she shows, this history of the coevolution of medicine and consumer culture tells us much about our current predicament over health care in the United States. Understanding where the shopping model came from, why it was so long resisted in medicine, and why it finally triumphed in the late twentieth century helps explain why, despite striking changes that seem to empower patients, so many Americans remain unhappy and confused about their status as patients today.

Reclaiming Our Health

Author: John Robbins
Publisher: H J Kramer
ISBN: 9780915811809
Size: 25.58 MB
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The author calls for a revolution in health care, criticizing its hostility to alternative medicine and its bias against women

A History Of The Present Illness

Author: Louise Aronson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1620400081
Size: 69.36 MB
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Sixteen "lovely, nuanced†? (The New York Times) linked stories from a potent new voice-a doctor with an M.D. from Harvard and an M.F.A. in fiction. A History of the Present Illness takes readers into overlooked lives in the neighborhoods, hospitals, and nursing homes of San Francisco, offering a deeply humane and incisive portrait of health and illness in America today. An elderly Chinese immigrant sacrifices his demented wife's well-being to his son's authority. A busy Latina physician's eldest daughter's need for more attention has disastrous consequences. A young veteran's injuries become a metaphor for the rest of his life. A gay doctor learns very different lessons about family from his life and his work. And a psychiatrist who advocates for the underserved may herself be crazy. Together, these honest and compassionate stories introduce a striking new literary voice and provide a view of what it means to be a doctor and a patient unlike anything we've read before. In the tradition of Oliver Sacks and Abraham Verghese, Aronson's writing is based on personal experience and addresses topics of current social relevance. Masterfully told, A History of the Present Illness explores the role of stories in medicine and creates a world pulsating with life, speaking truths about what makes us human.

The Science Of Human Perfection

Author: Nathaniel Comfort
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300169914
Size: 53.11 MB
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Almost daily we hear news stories, advertisements, and scientific reports promising that genetic medicine will make us live longer, enable doctors to identify and treat diseases before they harm us, and individualize our medical care. But surprisingly, a century ago eugenicists were making the same promises. This book traces the history of the promises of medical genetics and of the medical dimension of eugenics. While mindful of the benefits of genetic medicine, the book also considers social and ethical issues that cast troublesome shadows over these fields. Keeping his focus on America, Nathaniel Comfort introduces the community of scientists, physicians, and public health workers who have contributed to the development of medical genetics from the nineteenth century to today. He argues that medical genetics is closely related to eugenics, and indeed that the two cannot be fully understood separately. He also carefully examines how the desire to relieve suffering and to improve ourselves genetically, though noble, may be subverted. History makes clear that as patients and consumers we must take ownership of genetic medicine, using it intelligently, knowledgeably, and skeptically.

A Short History Of Medicine

Author: Erwin H. Ackerknecht
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421419548
Size: 63.95 MB
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Erwin H. Ackerknecht’s A Short History of Medicine is a concise narrative, long appreciated by students in the history of medicine, medical students, historians, and medical professionals as well as all those seeking to understand the history of medicine. Covering the broad sweep of discoveries from parasitic worms to bacilli and x-rays, and highlighting physicians and scientists from Hippocrates and Galen to Pasteur, Koch, and Roentgen, Ackerknecht narrates Western and Eastern civilization’s work at identifying and curing disease. He follows these discoveries from the library to the bedside, hospital, and laboratory, illuminating how basic biological sciences interacted with clinical practice over time. But his story is more than one of laudable scientific and therapeutic achievement. Ackerknecht also points toward the social, ecological, economic, and political conditions that shape the incidence of disease. Improvements in health, Ackerknecht argues, depend on more than laboratory knowledge: they also require that we improve the lives of ordinary men and women by altering social conditions such as poverty and hunger. This revised and expanded edition includes a new foreword and concluding biographical essay by Charles E. Rosenberg, Ackerknecht’s former student and a distinguished historian of medicine. A new bibliographic essay by Lisa Haushofer explores recent scholarship in the history of medicine. -- Charles E. Rosenberg, Harvard University, author of Our Present Complaint: American Medicine, Then and Now

No Other Gods

Author: Charles E. Rosenberg
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801855986
Size: 18.15 MB
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In its original edition, No Other Gods offered a pioneering and influential examination of the ways in which social institutions and values shaped American scientific practice and thought. In this revised and expanded edition, Rosenberg directs our attention to the dilemma posed by the social study of science: How can we reconcile the scientist's understanding of science as a quest for truth and knowledge with the historian's conviction that all knowledge bears the marks of the culture which gave it birth?

When Breath Becomes Air

Author: Paul Kalanithi
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0812988418
Size: 25.46 MB
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • People • NPR • The Washington Post • Slate • Harper’s Bazaar • Esquire • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly • BookPage Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both. Praise for When Breath Becomes Air “I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “An emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”—The Washington Post “Possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead.”—The Boston Globe “Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”—USA Today