Learning How the Heart Beats

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9780670838745: Learning How the Heart Beats

The personal experiences of a pediatric doctor from Harvard Medical School offer a glimpse into the modern medical profession and discuss such issues as senior care, child abuse, childhood leukemia, AIDS babies, and more. 20,000 first printing.

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From Booklist:

McCarthy presents a sequence of vignettes drawn from patient encounters that constituted an overture to the emotional component of medicine. For example, an elderly Italian man is coerced into a lengthy hospitalization to treat a life-threatening infection. He departs improved in health but wounded in self-concept, "replacing one illness with another," as McCarthy suggests. Or the brain-damaged preemie, saved by heroic measures, who dies shortly before his second birthday, never having left the hospital. The poignancy of the stories is heightened by McCarthy's emotional involvement, such as her private despair over a teenager with leukemia, in the face of the family's unflagging optimism. After the birth of her first child, McCarthy recognizes that she can no longer separate herself sufficiently from the profound suffering that too often befalls both child and parent at the tertiary care level, and she consequently directs her career into primary care pediatrics. Brenda Grazis

From Publishers Weekly:

When McCarthy describes cradling the body of a premature baby who has just died, few readers will be unaffected. Her preference for working with children (McCarthy has two of her own), combined with the "optimistic" nature of pediatrics, with its greater rate of patient recovery, determined her specialty. She writes of her training, of the intense interest, apprehension and satisfaction at each new procedure she learned at Harvard Medical School and during her internship and residency. As a care-giver, McCarthy relates her successes and failures with AIDS babies, abused or neglected children and other youngsters she treats at an inner-city Boston clinic. This moving look into the heart and work of a dedicated physician is based on a series of articles McCarthy wrote for the Boston Globe.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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