The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  6 reviews
“Life is short, and the Art so long; the occasion fleeting; experience fallacious; and judgment difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and the externals, cooperate.”
–attributed to Hippocrates, c. 400 B.C.E.

The award-winning author of How We Die and The Art of Aging, venerated physician S...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Random House (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 121)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
There were many interesting insights into not only the life of a physician but the art of medicine and the care, body and soul, of the patient. It is written in self-contained, essay-like format, so you can pick and choose which parts you find most compelling or interesting. The section on acupuncture was especially interesting, as was the explanation for why we say "God Bless You" after someone sneezes.
Long-time physician Sherwin B. Nuland presents a provocative and stimulating collection of stories illustrating the vagaries of medical practice over the years. Among the fascinating and probing questions that Nuland investigates are:

Listen to The Uncertain Art on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.
Anyone who mentions the Flexner report without mentioning that it helped to close down pretty much every medical school for black or women doctors has a big heavy stupid white privilege knapsack shoved up his ass. Otherwise not such a bad dude, loved the end piece about his bromance with a heart transplant patient.
A collection of essays -- I liked some a lot, others I didn't care for. Wish there was a more central theme and more about how to manage difficult decisions/emotions/etc (similar to the heart transplant patient story at the end) but overall an interesting read.
Bd Drop
A collection of disjointed essays. Some good, some not great. Overall, had to skim most of it - there was no central theme.
An uneven collection of essays resurrected from The American Scholar.
Stacy marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2014
Sophie marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2014
Chimen Mayi
Chimen Mayi marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2014
Melody Borchardt
Melody Borchardt marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2014
Ryan marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2014
Hameed Khan
Hameed Khan marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2014
Beth Popp
Beth Popp marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2014
Omkar Jadhav
Omkar Jadhav marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2014
Kamrin marked it as to-read
Mar 10, 2014
Katie marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2014
Rachel Shmuts
Rachel Shmuts marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2014
Alicia marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2014
Thomas added it
Jan 03, 2014
Geanina marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
Edyta marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Sherwin Nuland was an American surgeon and author who taught bioethics and medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. He was the author of The New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winning How We Die, and has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, Time, and the New York Review of Books.

His NYTimes obit:
More about Sherwin B. Nuland...
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter The Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis Leonardo da Vinci: A Life Doctors: The Biography of Medicine The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside

Share This Book