I’ve just read about Sherwin B. Nuland’s The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine in Barry Gewen’s “A Doctor Finds Miracles in Medicine” published June 6, 2008 in the New York Times Book Review.
I’ve always been fascinated by medicine and I love to read books about medicine (Awakenings and An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales by Oliver Sacks, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge, and most recently Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath by Michael Paul Mason).
Nuland is a clinical professor of surgery at Yale University and the author of How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter (which won the National Book Award).
The publisher, Random House, describes The Uncertain Art as “a superb collection of essays about the vital mix of expertise, intuition, sound judgment, and pure chance that plays a part in a doctor’s practice and life.”
Already it sounds more light-hearted than Mason’s Head Cases (good book, but quite intense and sad) and more interesting than Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids by Julie Salamon (reviewed June 3 in the New York Times by Abigal Zuger here).
I would especially like to read Nuland’s writing about acupuncture, electroshock therapy, and other non-mainstream practices; I’ll have to check my local library and see if I can put a copy of The Uncertain Art (and maybe also Hospital) on hold!