Med­i­cine in Trans­la­tion: Jour­neys with My Patients

Danielle Ofri
  • Review
By – August 25, 2011
Often lost in ran­corous pub­lic debates is the impact pro­posed social changes will have on indi­vid­u­als. The health care reform bill recent­ly passed by Con­gress is one such case. Bil­lions of dol­lars may be saved and mil­lions of peo­ple will have health insur­ance. But what can hap­pen to a spe­cif­ic, liv­ing, breath­ing indi­vid­ual? Danielle Ofri’s lat­est offer­ing, Med­i­cine in Trans­la­tion, may shed some light on this issue.

This book tells the sto­ry, patient by patient, of what occurs in a big city pub­lic hos­pi­tal. We meet patients of var­i­ous cul­tures, many of whom don’t speak Eng­lish, a few of whom have sur­vived tor­ture, and all of whom have a com­pelling sto­ry. The com­mon thread in these vignettes is that each patient is dif­fer­ent and will be touched dif­fer­ent­ly by changes in the health care sys­tem. Whether or not your polit­i­cal views become changed or crys­tal­lized from read­ing this book, you can’t help but be moved by these patients’ expe­ri­ences. Ofri mas­ter­ful­ly weaves their sto­ries into a tapes­try of mem­oir and med­i­cine, and in so doing hon­ors the Jew­ish mitz­vah to heal the sick.”
Paul M. Arnold, MD, is pro­fes­sor of neu­ro­surgery and direc­tor of the Spinal Cord Injury Cen­ter at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas.

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