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Doctors: The Biography of Medicine


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About the Author

Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., was a clinical professor of surgery at Yale University and the author of numerous books, including How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter, which won the National Book Award, Lost in America: A Journey with My Father, Maimonides, and Leonardo da Vinci. In addition to his numerous articles for medical publications, he wrote for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, Time, and The New York Review of Books. Dr. Nuland died in 2014.


An historical outline develops as Nuland (Yale School of Medicine) examines the biographies of significant doctors engaged in the art and science of medicine. He considers philosophical and ethical issues fundamental to medicine's evolution, from antecedents of the Hippocratic oath to transplant technology. More than a biographical historiography, his book reaffirms the art of doctor-patient reltionships, while underscoring technical advances in science. Sir William Osler's observation that history is the ``silent influence of character on character'' best summarizes the essence of this outstanding book. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Mary Hemmings, McGill Univ. Medical Lib., Montreal

"An erudite history of medicine...a welcome addition to any medical collection." -- Booklist

"Eloquent, informed, deeply committed." -- Los Angeles Times

To tell the story of medicine since Hippocrates and Galen, Nuland focuses on the personalities and careers of medical innovators since the 16th century who epitomized the scientific climate and culture of their period. PW called this an ``enthusiatic and anecdote-rich narrative.'' (May)

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