The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine

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9780805065978: The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine
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Hailed by The Boston Globe as "a compact, faceted gem that shines with intelligence," this remarkable and fascinating book offers an honest, startling, deeply moving depiction of the modern emergency room. The twenty-eight vignettes in The Blood of Strangers, all written by a young E.R. physician and writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, seamlessly juxtapose visceral portrayals of real and unedited hospital situations with perceptive and lyrical meditations on the world of medicine--and the world at large.

All students, scholars, and practitioners of emergency medicine will find this stunning account of life, death, work, and reality in the E.R. both haunting and instructive.

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Review:

Forget the niceties of plot development and the easy moralizing of the television shows. There's nothing glamorous about a hospital emergency room, that arena where every human flaw and frailty is exposed.

Frank Huyler, a physician and poet, offers a sharp view of life-and-death realities. The emergency room, he writes in these affecting vignettes, is a place where the dominant mood is numbness, where doctors and patients alike have seen too much bloodshed and death. As a defensive reaction, Huyler writes, some doctors become addicted to drugs and other pastimes, while others assume arrogant, cavalier, or aloof airs. This is eminently understandable, and Huyler recounts the growing distance in his relationship with patients as "the earlier intimacy I had felt ... began to recede into the task." A fine storyteller, Huyler doesn't shy away from tales in which he comes up short, just as he shakes his head in bemusement at the ways of administrators and chiefs. In one episode, for instance, he writes of treating a comatose patient with aggressive measures under one attending physician's orders, then doing almost nothing under another's instructions. The patient "was gone from the waking world, as nearly dead as a human being can be, lying at the edge but never quite crossing over"--but, amazingly, he survived both his injuries and the conflict between the two doctors.

Reminiscent of the surgeon-essayist Richard Seltzer's best work, Huyler's memoirs take readers behind the surgical screen. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Frank Huyler is an emergency physician living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Poetry, and other publications. The Blood of Strangers is his first book.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780520218635: The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0520218639 ISBN 13:  9780520218635
Publisher: University of California Press, 1999
Hardcover

9781841155494: The Blood of Strangers: True Stories from the Emergency Room

Fourth..., 2001
Softcover

9780312423568: The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine

Picador, 2004
Softcover

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