Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Taste of My Own Medicine by Ed Rosenbaum (1988)

Reprinted as “The Doctor” See film with William Hurt.

“There's nothing unusual about a patient venting spleen at the doctor, but in this instance the patient is a doctor. And with his forceful, measured but angry book he establishes himself as a "patient advocate," for during his own recent medical treatment, rheumatologist Rosenbaum "learned more about handling the seriously ill . . . than in 50 years of practice." His comment gives the reader pause: not only is the author a physician, his Portland, Ore., group practice includes two sons and his brother (another son and two daughters-in-law are also doctors). Rosenbaum, stricken with cancer of the larynx, kept a journal during his therapy and reading it, one wonders if sheer cussedness alone caused his cancer to go into remission. He rails against the indifference of those administering his X-ray treatments, expresses his resentment at his radiologist's lack of compassion. Rosenbaum has strong opinions as well about medicine's turn toward big-business techniques, the profit motive, cost-effectiveness; criticizes insurance carriers, Medicare and Medicaid. His rancor will be a bitter pill to the brethren." Extraordinary book, bears rereading.

Can be purchased from Abebooks starting at two dollars.