HEALING THE WOUNDS
A Physician Looks at His Work
Healing the Wounds is the most revealing book ever written by a doctor about his own profession. In it, David Hilfiker breaks the code of silence surrounding the everyday practice of medicine and gives is a dramatically different personal account of how the family doctors gets by in a world of spiraling information and high anxiety. Drawing on his years of rural and urban experience, Dr. Hilfiker lets us all know what it really feels like to be a doctor. What do you do when you make a serious medical mistake? Is it enjoyable to play God? What do you say to a patient who wants reassurance when the essence of diagnosis is uncertainty? What about money? What happens when a patient is taking forever, your waiting room is full, and you want to get home?
Dr. Hilfiker uses incidents from his own practice to examine many of the kinds of behavior for which doctors are criticized—aloofness, authoritarianism, lack of caring, and money. With compassion for doctor and patient alike, he shows how the stresses of medical practice lead to a climate of misunderstanding and hostility in which the goal of healing is the first casualty.
Never before have we heard the voice of the doctor ever American is most likely to meet—the family doctor—telling the often painful truths of medical practice. A book for the medical community and the lay person alike, Healing the Wounds is a powerful exploration of what frustrates doctors (and infuriates patients) and what might be done about it).
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, May 2013
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