Sunday, July 11, 2010

Five best books about doctors' lives

Abraham Verghese is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. His books include the novel Cutting for Stone and the memoir My Own Country.

For the Wall Street Journal he named a five best list of books about doctors' lives.

One title on the list:
Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin's Disease
by Charlotte Jacobs

Charlotte Jacobs, an oncologist and biographer, tells the story of the man who was instrumental in making Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands, a curable condition. In Dr. Jacobs's capable hands we experience the thrill of clinical research and the hard slogging of clinical trials, which are the only way to tell if treatment is beneficial. We also meet the maverick doctors—Kaplan's colleagues and rivals—who helped bring about the cure's discovery. Most people know about Jonas Salk and the polio cure, but Kaplan and the Hodgkin's-disease tale is even more compelling—and wonderfully told in these pages. A budding Kaplan out there, one hopes, might read this book (or one of the others on this list) and be "called" to medicine. It's a great journey, and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Read about another book on the list.

See--Writers Read: Abraham Verghese.

--Marshal Zeringue