I first heard about Sherwin B. Nuland’s The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine through the New York Times Book Review — Barry Gewen’s “A Doctor Finds Miracles in Medicine” published June 6, 2008.
The book consists entirely of essays publishes in The American Scholar between 1998 and 2004.
This book is really quite special. Nuland’s post-9/11 essay and his thoughts on his heart transplant candidate friend are especially poignant. His essay on our species’ obsession with poop was humorous. His writings on acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and the mind-body relationship are insightful. And every essay was thoughtful and educational.
I may even purchase a copy of this book, since I read one from the library.
Here’s the Table of Contents:
Author’s Note xi
Prooemium: An Introduction to My Book xiii
The Whole Law of Medicine 3
Narcissus Looks Into the Laboratory 12
The Medical School and the University 20
The True Healers 28
Pumping Iron 35
Acupuncture in the Operating Room 42
Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine, and Acupuncture 50
The Misty Crystal Ball 59
Hidden Meanings 67
Is There a Doctor in the House? 75
Robbing Graves 91
Mind, Body, and the Doctor 99
The Great Books 108
Grief and Reflection: After 9/11 116
Lightning on My Mind 123
Scatological Medicine 132
Hippocrates Redux 140
The Artist and the Doctor 148
The Man or the Moment? 157
Letters From a Heart Transplant Candidate 165
Click here to read an excerpt. Enjoy!