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Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And Fifty-six Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor
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Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And Fifty-six Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  366 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
This oft-quoted all-time favorite of the medical community will gladden--and strengthen--the hearts of patients, doctors, and anyone entering medical study, internship, or practice. With unassailable logic and rapier wit, the sage Dr. Oscar London muses on the challenges and joys of doctoring, and imparts timeless truths, reality checks, and poignant insights gleaned from ...more
Hardcover, 20th Anniversary Edition, 120 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 1987)
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Jamie Collins
A collection of very short, humorous essays about an internist’s experience in private practice in the 1980’s. It’s less substantial than I was expecting, but it’s worth a smile or two. This 2004 anniversary edition concludes with a tirade against managed health care.

A sampling of essay titles, touted as rules for being the World’s Greatest Doctor:

"Be Jewish"
In which the student Dr. London visits an Amish family who are charmed to meet an actual Jew, right out of the Bible.

"If You Don't Believe
Jan 07, 2008 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wasn't impressed with this book. Maybe it is because I am not into reading about medical stuff anymore. However, it was frankly just boring to read this guy's interpretation about being a doctor. Actually, it was boring reading this guy's spiel about how he is the world's "greatest" doctor.
Sep 05, 2012 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a "physician" (actually a surgeon) and one who is passionate about undergraduate education this is a book I would like to scatter about on tables in their common rooms and by their beds so that they could acquire the same fascination and curiousity about patients as the author shows.
Aug 02, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
I wanted to like this more than I did. I wanted it to be more clever, or more amusing or just *more*. The doctor makes some good points, but he ego frequently put me off. (Which is probably why it took so long to read; I only read an essay or two in each infrequent sitting.)
Sep 22, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Fun, light read that delivers a humorous perspective on life as a doctor.
Jun 28, 2014 Kavita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book truly had me laughing out loud several times. Oscar London's short essays and paragraphs hit home despite the fact that it was written in the 1980s. There are many pieces of advice that he gives that are still applicable.
If I had to give this gift to someone in the medical community, I would gift it to a medical student or an experienced physician all the same. Non-medical staff find it difficult to understand how we find humour in certain situations but London has shown that it isn't
Blake Charlton
Jan 04, 2010 Blake Charlton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well written, thoughtful. but...not all that funny. i laughed at maybe two of the many essays. that isn't to say i didn't learn a lot from them. i enjoyed several, hurried through others. but the humor was dated. the medical world london exams (best i can tell as a third year medical student) no longer exists. however, i found myself fascinated by the book's tone. one gets a sense of how much the author cares about and loves medicine. most other medical humor i've encountered (many will be famil ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Mindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What an arrogant man. I thought he was mildly funny with a few pearls of wisdom. He was probably a fabulous doctor but he is also one dimensional, full of himself, and actually an idiot in some respects (don't make your money work for you... just trade work hours for money for the rest of your life. don't pick up hobbies, make your work your hobby. - of course these are my interpretations of his words) The funny thing is, I can think of a few internists who are EXACTLY like this. Incidentally th ...more
What an ass! Dr. London (pseudonym)comes across as an arrogant internist (most of them are). He calls himself "The Worlds Greatest Doctor) multiple times and I think he really believes it. I am a physician and I read this hoping for some pearls. It did not provide many. I gave it a two because it made me smile maybe once. Don't waste your time.
Apr 22, 2008 Malia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: med students, interns, residents, pre-med
I picked up this book and could not stop laughing, much to the chagrin of my fellow bookstore patrons. This is an absolute must for anyone who has worked the patient side of healthcare, especially any physicians.
Omar Khateeb
Jun 17, 2016 Omar Khateeb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medicine
Pretty funny book for a pre Med or medical student. Definitely a few pearls of wisdom for those about to open practice.
Dec 05, 2015 Karan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilariously snarky and pithy. I haven't done a ton of primary care, but enough to know not to take him too seriously. With that in mind this is a fun quick read.
Boris Tizenberg
Nov 16, 2016 Boris Tizenberg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Witty, dry humor and great prose combined with the realities of medicine make for a wonderful read for someone who is either in healthcare or is foreign to it.
Aug 25, 2015 Lazaro rated it really liked it
Quick and easy read. It'd be a pretty good book for patients because it allows you to get inside the mind of a physician.
Feb 14, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting perspectives, easy read because it's written colloquially. i liked some quotes it made me think about medicine
Iris rated it liked it
Jul 22, 2015
Vicki Crabb
Vicki Crabb rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2011
Perla Ricci
Perla Ricci rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2014
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Daniela Frankova rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2016
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Leonid rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2016
Brebein rated it it was ok
Nov 07, 2016
Sofia Oliveira
Sofia Oliveira rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2016
Oct 03, 2016 Josiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medicine, 2016, humor
Witty and pithy.
Lara Maggs
Lara Maggs rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2015
Matthew Dubuque
Matthew Dubuque rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2014
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Aug 09, 2010
Joe Huntley
Joe Huntley rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2016
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Nov 10, 2012
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