Intensive Care: A Doctor's Journey
March 08, 2013
New York Times WellBlog regular contributor Danielle Ofri has been praised for turning the triumphs and trials of medicine into riveting and compassionate stories. This eBook exclusive edition offers 98 pages of her best work for $3.99.
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This eBook original exhibits Danielle Ofri's range and skill as a storyteller as well as her empathy and astuteness as a doctor. Her vivid prose brings the reader into bustling hospitals, tense exam rooms, and Ofri's own life, giving an up-close look at the fast-paced, life-and-death drama of becoming a doctor. She tells of a young man uncertain of his future who comes into the clinic with a stomach complaint but for whom Dr. Ofri sees that the most useful "treatment" she can offer him is SAT tutoring. She writes of a desperate struggle to communicate with a critically ill patient who only speaks Mandarin, of a doctor whose experience in the NICU leaves her paralyzed with PTSD, and of her own struggles with the fear of making fatal errors, the dangers of overconfidence, and the impossible attempts to balance the empathy necessary for good care with the distance necessary for self-preservation. Through these stories of her patients, colleagues, and her own experiences, Intensive Care offers poignant insight into the medical world, and into the hearts and minds of doctors and their patients. These stories are drawn from the author’s previous books and one is from her forthcoming book, What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine.
Praise for Danielle Ofri
“The world of patient and doctor exists in a special sacred space. Danielle Ofri brings us into that place where science and the soul meet. Her vivid and moving prose enriches the mind and turns the heart. We are privileged to journey with her from her days as a student to her emergence as a physician working among those most in need.” —Jerome Groopman, author of How Doctors Think
“A gifted storyteller … Ofri describes how her patients’ histories stirred her to practice medicine more compassionately, inspired her with their hope and fortitude.” —Sarah Halzack, The Washington Post
“Danielle Ofri is a finely gifted writer, a born storyteller as well as a born physician, and through these … brilliantly written episodes covering the years from studenthood to the end of her medical residency, we get not only a deep sense of the high drama of life and death that must face anyone working in a great hospital but a feeling for the making of a physician's mind and soul, and for her bravery and vulnerabilities as she goes through the long years of apprenticeship.” —Oliver Sacks, MD, author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
“Danielle Ofri stands observing at the crossroads of the remarkable lives that intersect at Bellevue. She is dogged, perceptive, unafraid, and willing to probe her own motives, as well as those of others. This is what it takes for a good physician to arrive at the truth, and these same qualities make her an essayist of the first order.” —Abraham Verghese, author of The Tennis Partner and My Own Country
“Dr. Ofri is an exemplary model of professional compassion. Her beautiful stories linger at the curtains of disease, of class and culture of life, and of inevitable death. The stories challenge us to create new narratives of caring and listening.” —Bruce Hirsch, Tikkun
“Danielle Ofri has so much to say about the remarkable intimacies between doctor and patient, about the bonds and the barriers, and above all about how doctors come to understand their powers and their limitations.” —Perri Klass, MD, author of A Not Entirely Benign Procedure and The Mercy Rule
“Her writing tumbles forth with color and emotion. She demonstrates an ear for dialogue, a humility about the limits of her medical training, and an extraordinary capacity to be touched by human suffering. . . . an important addition to the literary canon of medicine.” —Jan Gardner, The Boston Globe