Monday, December 01, 2008

Five best books about doctors and patients

A couple of years ago Jerome Groopman named a five best list of books about doctors and patients for the Wall Street Journal.

One title on the list:
An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks (Knopf, 1995).

Neurology is (pun intended) a highly cerebral field. Detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves, and meticulous examination of the patient, lead the astute neurologist to a clinical diagnosis. While elegant cerebration may arrive at an answer, it does not necessarily bring a solution, since there is often little effective therapy for neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks is acutely attuned to this, and in these beautifully written case histories--including those of a painter who has lost the ability to see color and a man whose damaged memory leaves him living perpetually in 1968--he shows us how human beings, even in the absence of potent treatments, can find ways to surmount their debility and lead fulfilling lives.
Read about Number One on Groopman's list.

--Marshal Zeringue