Death of the Good Doctor: Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic

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9781573440912: Death of the Good Doctor: Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic
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Based on journals written during her five years as the clinical director of AIDS programs in Oakland, CA, Death of the Good Doctor is a richly detailed chronicle of the author's compassionate relationships with individual patients through whom she filters the vast complexities of the epidemic. These beautiful, often difficult, and sometimes humorous engagements with her patients were the substance of Kate Scannell's life during her years on the AIDS ward. This is not the standard narrative of a physician acting upon or commenting about her patients from an observer's or authority figure's viewpoint. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer several years after leaving the AIDS ward, Scannell writes from the point of view of both a physician and a woman facing the prospects of her own mortality.

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An elegant and touching account of her tenure as clinical director of a county hospital's AIDS ward at the height of the epidemic (1985 to 1990), Kate Scannell's Death of the Good Doctor records her journey from the aggressive, invasive, never-say-die medicine that she had been trained to perform to a more compassionate, realistic practice in which she might be just as likely to prescribe fresh pastries or an outing as she would antibiotics or extensive laboratory tests. Structured around the stories of 11 of her most memorable patients, Scannell's narrative skillfully conjures the panic years of the AIDS crisis--political squabbles, public indifference, and the roller coaster of medical "breakthroughs" that proved dangerous or ineffective--always returning to the individual and the small acts of kindness that make a difference to the terminally ill. Her own recent diagnosis with cancer adds a poignancy to her reflections that is not lost on Scannell. Writing of AIDS years after leaving her post and returning to research, she explains that she is "moving between grief and acceptance of this disease": "After a dark period of responding to so much suffering and death with unmitigated grief and defiance, I have been able finally to find some peace, walking more comfortably, day-to-day, alongside the certainty of my own death." --Regina Marler

From the Back Cover:

"This haunting memoir is an important addition to the cano n of AIDS literature. Scannell writes beautifully and with an insight that escapes most physicians."-Abraham Verghese, author of The Tennis Partner and My Own Country "Kate Scannell is the rare doctor who has been transformed by her patients. In this irresistable, informative, and enormously moving book, she tells us not only her own story, but theirs."-Gloria Steinem

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9781468146172: Death of the Good Doctor -- Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic

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ISBN 10:  1468146173 ISBN 13:  9781468146172
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishi..., 2012
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