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The Scalpel and the Soul   book icon  
by Allan Hamilton (2008)

read: 24 October 2011
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Really enjoyed this book since I like reading about medicine but it was sort of all over the place. The doctor is a guy who went to medical school, went off to the war, came back to be a surgeon and then retired from active surgery to help doctors make fewer medical mistakes. If you read a lot of medical books you’ll recognize some fo the traditional marks of arrogance which are explained and somewhat apologized for but still seem somewhat jarring out of context [referring to child burn patients as “it” instead of by their gender, a seeming lack of empathy for patient deaths, a bit of self-absorption] and this is balanced somewhat by the author’s reflection and contemplation of the more spiritual side of medicine. Now, I temd to bristle when I feel that someone is requiring me to accept woo-woo approaches to things that science can explain but the doc in this case is talking about things that science deosn’t explain, or doesn’t explain well. There’s not a lot of “let’s looks into what could have been happening, scientifically...” here but a lot of connected stories that the author reflects on. I enjoyed the book with some reservations.

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