Suburban Shaman: Tales From Medicine's Frontline

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9781905140084: Suburban Shaman: Tales From Medicine's Frontline

'Medicine is not just about science. It's also all about stories, and about the mingling of narratives among doctors, and between them and their patients.'

So writes Cecil Helman after 27 years as a family practitioner in and around London interlaced with training and research as a medical anthropologist, comparing a wide variety of medical systems and other forms of healing.

This unique combination of frontline health worker and detached academic informs the many stories that make up this fascinating book. It also informs the author's insights into what human suffering can teach us about ourselves and our own attitudes to health and illness, whether we are deliverers or recipients of health care.

With insight and compassion, Dr Helman's stories take the reader on a journey from apartheid South Africa, where he did his medical training, to the London of the early 1970s, where for a short time he foreswore medicine to become an anthropologist and poet; from ship's doctor on a Mediterranean cruise to family practitioner in London; from observing curative trance dances in the favelas of Brazil to interviewing sangomas in South Africa.

While trained in the Western tradition and with many years of practice in that system, Dr Helman's anthropological insight leads him to view illness in a wider personal, social and cultural context, considering elements beyond the purely physical. In pleading for this holistic approach he celebrates family medicine which 'in its quiet and unassuming way, and every day of the week, is still at the very frontline of human suffering'.

Winner of the 2007 Medical Journalists Association Book Award in the 'general readership' section

Chosen as Book of the Week by BBC Radio4

Also available:

Magic in Practice - Introducing Medical NLP: the Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health - ISBN 1905140193
Shadows in Wonderland: a Hospital Odyssey - ISBN 1905140207
Traditional Herbal Medicines: A Guide to Their Safer Use - ISBN 1905140045

Hammersmith Press is an independent publishing house producing books for the general public and health professionals that promote better health and well-being through a greater understanding of the human body and mind, with a particular emphasis on the importance of nutrition and diet.

Some of the areas we publish in include:

-Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)
-Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
-Natural Health & Weight Loss
-Holistic Medicine
-Thyroid Health
-Medical stories
- Healthy eating
-Traditional medicines
-Infertility
-Menopause
-Diabetes

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About the Author:

Dr Cecil Helman was born in Cape Town, South Africa into a family of doctors. He studied medicine there during the apartheid era before moving to the UK where he studied anthropology at University College London. After a spell as a ship's doctor he became a family practitioner in London while also developing a distinguished academic career. He has been a Visiting Fellow in Social Medicine and Health Policy at Harvard Medical School and a Visiting Professor in Multi-cultural Health at University of New South Wales. He retired from clinical practice in 2002 and is currently Professor of Medical Anthropology at Brunel University and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London, UK. He is the author of the leading textbook Culture, Health and Illness which has been used in 42 countries, and of a book of essays, and several books of poetry. Suburban Shaman is the story of his experiences.

Review:

'Cecil Helman is many things: old-fashioned general practitioner, psychiatrist, cultural anthropologist, storyteller, poet and artist - and all this comes together in Suburban Shaman, a beautifully written, devastatingly honest, and often very funny, account of an audacious and adventurous life.' --Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

'Cecil Helman is many things: old-fashioned general practitioner, psychiatrist, cultural anthropologist, storyteller, poet and artist - and all this comes together in Suburban Shaman, a beautifully written, devastatingly honest, and often very funny, account of an audacious and adventurous life.' --Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

'This resolutely non-specialist memoir may, I think, turn out to be one of the classics which every medical student MUST read.... I don't think anyone since A. J. Cronin has expressed so strongly what it is to be embedded in the community as a GP.... I love [what it says] in the book about the 'long view', the watching of families, the understanding of family tendencies.... [The book is] also fascinating on professional tendencies and on how the patient presents across the table to a GP.' --Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4

I simply could not put down this extraordinary mixture of stories from the GP's surgery in suburban London. ...Two clear messages emerge from this book, which should be required reading for every medical student. ...First, medicine must relearn its heart and soul...Second, there is no certainty in medicine, and no clear answer as to what it is that cures, or fails to cure people. ...Clearly told, and an extraordinary read, this is a passionate cry for humane medicine.' --Dame Julia Neuberger, The Independent

'This resolutely non-specialist memoir may, I think, turn out to be one of the classics which every medical student MUST read.... I don't think anyone since A. J. Cronin has expressed so strongly what it is to be embedded in the community as a GP.... I love [what it says] in the book about the 'long view', the watching of families, the understanding of family tendencies.... [The book is] also fascinating on professional tendencies and on how the patient presents across the table to a GP.' --Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4 Midweek

'This resolutely non-specialist memoir may, I think, turn out to be one of the classics which every medical student MUST read.... I don't think anyone since A. J. Cronin has expressed so strongly what it is to be embedded in the community as a GP.... I love [what it says] in the book about the 'long view', the watching of families, the understanding of family tendencies.... [The book is] also fascinating on professional tendencies and on how the patient presents across the table to a GP.' --Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4 Midweek

'Cecil Helman is many things: old-fashioned general practitioner, psychiatrist, cultural anthropologist, storyteller, poet and artist - and all this comes together in Suburban Shaman, a beautifully written, devastatingly honest, and often very funny, account of an audacious and adventurous life.' --Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

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Book Description Hammersmith Press Limited. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Suburban Shaman: Tales from Medicine's Front Line, Cecil Helman, 'To be a good doctor you have to be a compassionate chameleon, a shape shifter - a shaman. Even if your adaptation to your patients' world happens at an unconscious level you should always work within their system of ideas, never against it.' So writes Cecil Helman after 27 years as a family practitioner in the suburbs of North London interlaced with training and research as a medical anthropologist, comparing a wide variety of health systems. This unique combination of frontline health worker and detached academic informs the many stories that make up this fascinating book. It also informs the author's shared insights into what these stories can teach us about ourselves and our own attitudes to health and illness, whether we are deliverers or recipients of health care. With humour and gentle humaneness, Helman's colourful stories take the reader on a journey from apartheid South Africa, where he did his initial training, to the London of the early 1970s, where for a short time he foreswore medicine to become an anthropologist and poet; from ship's doctor on a Mediterranean cruise to family practitioner in London; from observer of curative trance dances in the favelas of Brazil to consulting with sangomas in South Africa. While trained in the Western tradition and with many years of practice in that system, Helman's anthropological insight leads him to view illness in a wider personal, social and cosmic context, considering elements beyond the purely physical, as do shamans and other traditional doctors. In pleading for this age-old holistic approach, he celebrates family medicine which 'in its quiet and unassuming way, and every day of the week, is still at the very frontline of human suffering'. Bookseller Inventory # B9781905140084

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Book Description Hammersmith Press Limited. Book Condition: New. 2006. Paperback. Presents stories that teach us about ourselves and our attitudes to health and illness, whether we are deliverers or recipients of health care. This book takes the reader from apartheid South Africa, where the author did his initial training to the London of the early 1970s, where he forswore medicine to become an anthropologist and poet. Num Pages: 240 pages. BIC Classification: BGTA; MB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 19. Weight in Grams: 238. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781905140084

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Book Description Hammersmith Press Limited, 2006. Book Condition: New. 2006. Paperback. Presents stories that teach us about ourselves and our attitudes to health and illness, whether we are deliverers or recipients of health care. This book takes the reader from apartheid South Africa, where the author did his initial training to the London of the early 1970s, where he forswore medicine to become an anthropologist and poet. Num Pages: 240 pages. BIC Classification: BGTA; MB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 19. Weight in Grams: 238. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781905140084

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