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Youngest Science, The

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  279 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A doctor's fascinating view of what medicine was, and what it has become. Thomas first learned about medicine by watching his father practice in an era when doctors comforted rather than healed. Looking back upon his experiences as a medical student, young doctor, and senior researcher, Thomas notes that medicine is now rich in possibility and promise.
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Bantam (first published 1983)
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Un médico, por lo visto bastante renombrado, narra en esta obra su manera de ver la medicina, y cómo ha cambiado su práctica a lo largo de su carrera profesional (el estilo se parece al de Interacciones de Sheldon Glashow). Los capítulos son independientes y están ordenados más o menos cronológicamente. El estilo no es de los que me atraen. Es, valga la cacofonía, una prosa sosa. No me ha apasionado. Además no es nada actual, con lo que la mayoría de los "problemas abiertos" que plantea están ba ...more
The evolution of medicine from art to science

Although he refers to himself as a watcher, Lewis Thomas was very much a participant in the major event where medicine went from being personal and in some ways useless to a science where cures were routine. He starts the book with a description of the role of a physician before the Second World War. His father was a physician who had an office in their home, although most of his work was making house calls and hospital rounds. In those days, before s
All three Thomas books are apologies for meaning to be found in creation. Sadly, the author falls short of tying that back to God. Nevertheless, he comes so close, and his explanation is beautiful.
Mike Harper
I read this book for a course in the history of 20th century medicine. It was fascinating insofar as it explained what the practice of medicine was like at the start of the century. It is an easy read, well written and without excessive technical language.
Gabrielle Sebaratnam
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roberta Weiner
This is why I love being in a book group - to get an assignment like this, a book I would never come across. It's a collection of essays that give you insight into the earlier years of modern medicine. The most timeless is simply called Illness, in which he makes the point that you can become a better doctor after experiencing illness yourself.
Lewis Thomas gives a personal history of his life in medicine. His father was a turn-of-the-century doctor, and his own career started in the thirties so he can cover most of the amazing changes in 20th century medicine.

The early going was fascinating as he described the very different world of medicine at the start of the century, but as the years go on the reminisces become much more personal, about who was working in this lab and which person he met at the public health board. His good sense
Elizabeth Eslami
This is, I believe, my fourth or fifth experience reading Lewis Thomas, and he never ceases to delight. Somehow he manages to be a crackerjack scientist and doctor, a clever, gently funny writer, and insanely avuncular simultaneously. Every patient - past, present, or future - should read his thoughtful essay here on Illness. And for those of you of a more literary bent who forswear books with scientific jargon, let me entice you with this tidbit: None other than Joyce Carol Oates first convince ...more
Nov 02, 2010 Spencer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marc Stryker
A journal-like commentary on the state of medicine past, present, and future. It's funny because his comments in 1975 about the state of medicine are just as accurate if made today. A great read. My favorite chapter is his praise of the nursing profession.
Interesting accounts of discovery and failure in academic medicine in New York City as it evolved from an art to a science. Particulary interesting to those who trained at the institutions mentioned: NYU Bellevue, Cornell, Rockefeller, etc.
Chris Comis
Great book on the not-so-distant attempts of modern day (witch) doctors to understand the inner essences of all things somatic. Pretty interesting stuff at the end there on Lewis' attempts to understand the root causes of cancer.
A really great book about medicine in the last century. It is written in a conversational tone. It is great for anyone wanting to learn more about medicine and read a great book. It is now one of my favorite books.
Really a series of essays, that follow Dr. Thomas' life in medicine and its evolution from hand-holding to scientific care, sometimes unfortunately at the expense of dehumanizing the patient even more.
Courtney Handermann
Lewis Thomas does what no science class I've ever taken could do -- he makes me like science. Especially appreciated the stories from his own and his father's experiences in medicine.

Richard Cytowic
A master of the personal essay. Evocative of medicine as practiced in his father's era (1910) and his own (1937 forward). He laments, as do I, the loss of the physician's physical touch.
Thomas goes between being fun, biographical, interesting, and scientific all over the place. It feels like a series of essays rather than a woven piece, but not without originality.
Very fascinating essays on his career as a physician and microbiologist from 1930 to late 1980s - a time when scientific discoveries transformed medicine and health.
Lewis thomas is certainly one of our best science essayists. I always enjoy his work. These are general essays mostly, about biology.
Intriguing essays on science and how it relates to everyday life and the medical world. I love the way Thomas writes.
I know I read this and I remember that I liked it, but I would need to read it again to accurately review it.
Daniel Hooker
A classic. Great read from the one of the early fathers of medicine writing
Mar 24, 2007 Grace rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: medical
An inspiring book for all the medical types, and I LOVED it.
Brittany Petruzzi
More good stuff from Thomas.
Easy book to read.
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Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3, 1993) was a physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher.

Thomas was born in Flushing, New York and attended Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He became Dean of Yale Medical School and New York University School of Medicine, and President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute. His formative
More about Lewis Thomas...
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“It is not a simple life to be a single cell, although I have no right to say so, having been a single cell so long ago myself that I have no memory at all of that stage in my life.” 3 likes
“Have you noticed how often it happens that a really good idea -- the kind of idea that looks, as it approaches, like the explanation for everything about everything -- tends to hover near at hand when you are thinking hard about something quite different? There you are, halfway into a taxi, thinking about the condition of the cartilage in the right knee joint, and suddenly, with a whirring sound, in flies a new notion looking for a place to light. You'd better be sure you have a few bare spots, denuded of anything like thought, ready for its perching, or it will fly away into the dark.” 2 likes
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