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The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine
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The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  9 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
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Random House (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jan 28, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
This is a series of essays by Dr. Nuland who wrote How We Die. The most interesting chapters are about acupuncture, grave robbing for bodies in the last century, cocaine as an anesthetic in the past, and his vision of medicine by the end of this century...WOW!. You won't believe the chapter on treating women in the 1800's for "hysteria" (sexual) and double wow.
My favorite book of his is Lost in America, a memoir.
Nov 03, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it
Soooo dry.... I will die a death of boredom! I quit only a few chapters in. This book is way too detached. I do not want academic doctor thoughts. I want to get to know the doctor as a human, to know how they think. If that is the kind of book you are looking for, look somewhere else.
May 04, 2016 Hannah rated it liked it
While bits of this were fascinating, much more was meandering.
Aug 17, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 03, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Some useful pints for practicing medicine
Dec 17, 2008 lola rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 20, 2013 Avalon rated it it was ok
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
May 02, 2013 Bd Drop rated it liked it
A collection of disjointed essays. Some good, some not great. Overall, had to skim most of it - there was no central theme.
Nov 12, 2008 Eric_W rated it it was ok
An uneven collection of essays resurrected from The American Scholar.
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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...

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“knowledge without wisdom is a clear and present danger” 0 likes
“The kind of child our society resembles just now is one whose intelligence far exceeds his maturity. Every teacher and every parent knows what a formula for disaster that can be.” 0 likes
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