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Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  525 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
An inspiring, surprising, sometimes shocking, and ultimately deeply informative memoir of the high-stakes, high-pressured life of a female heart surgeon.

Dr. Kathy Magliato is one of the few female heart surgeons practicing in the world today. She is also a member of an even more exclusive group—those surgeons specially trained to perform heart transplants. Healing Hearts i
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2010)
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Mar 31, 2011 Mie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been working in the same departments as described in this memoir. I do remember what a balancing act it was for these cardio-vascular surgions and nurses as well. It was huge when we saved life and we were quiet and respectful often sad with tears in our eyes when we lost one. I think some of the describtions and the language used are a little over-dramatic.
Apr 06, 2016 Aimen rated it really liked it
This was good book! I thought this memoir felt a little stuck up at first but between my studying and leisure time, this was not too bad. It really highlights the sexism- I wasn't too educated about- in the medical world. She talks about real medical stories and it was very nice to hear such a successful story. It was deep and entertaining. I won't lie... I skimmed a few boring parts but mostly, just the gibberish symbolic stuff. I loved her personal life and her movement to her career, which wa ...more
Jan 28, 2010 Andres rated it really liked it
Shelves: medical
I love reading anything medical, and "medical memoirs" from doctors are especially fun to read. This one is no exception, and right away you get a real sense of the no-nonsense, straightforward, yet fun and lively personality of the author/doctor. Dr. Magliato is the "female heart surgeon" of the subtitle and she honestly lays out the facts of her life, of her profession (I can't believe it can be so sexist!), and of the drive and hard work that is necessary to even consider such a complex and d ...more
Barbara Frank
I've enjoyed Heartbeat, the TV show based on this physician, so wanted to read about the real doctor. Interesting but Dr. Magliato is just so full of herself that her ego takes up way too much space in the book. I'm sure she is brilliant and a terrific surgeon but this was mostly a "brag" book about how much she can accomplish in any given day. She is the ultimate multi-tasker. Had there been any humility in this book, I'd have enjoyed it much more.
Oct 10, 2011 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, fascinating book! I loved how the book was written. I learned so much, but the material is presented in a very down-to-earth manner. It is the story of how the author came to be one of the few/rare female heart surgeons in the world. She tells of her story of success, but a success fraught with challenges, many of which related to her gender, a rarity in this field. She had much to overcome in addition to the obvious academic challenges. Her ability to endure, even embrace, the physical str ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-boods-read
I would recommend this book to anyone--- and especially women-- interested in learning about heart disease, women breaking through barriers, or stories of real people living and working. It met all three for me, and was an eye opener about women and heart disease. I fell in love with this heart surgeon and her passion for women's health. I picked it up at the library to listen to (and fortunately could listen constantly while doing a 6 hr drive), but will order a hard copy of my own. It is an am ...more
Sep 21, 2016 Stefanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book, written by a female heart surgeon, about her experience as a doctor, seemed right up my alley, being a nurse and loving all things medical. Wow, if only it were so! Talk about smug, I am the hero, I am the smartest, best person to save my patients!

I had to stop after the second chapter because I couldn't stand one more word from this pompous, self-aggrandizing, ego-maniacal person. She does the chest compressions in CPR! And rides atop the patient into surgery where they prep her int
Apr 05, 2016 Jasmine rated it really liked it

I loved Kathy Magliato’s account of the trials and accomplishment of being a woman in medical school, and eventually, becoming a cardiothoracic (heart and chest) surgeon. She describes her encounters with crazy mentors and inspirational patients and how she managed to succeed in her field.
Kathy describes how she first discovered she wanted to become a heart surgeon; when she was an intern and had to save a life. She says how she helped an older surgeon stop a leak in an artery in someone's ches
Feb 20, 2010 Nette rated it it was ok
I guess I'd want a heart surgeon who was self-confident, even arrogant, but reading a book by this heart surgeon was a chore. "I didn't just survive the transplant service in Michigan, I blossomed from it. Intense, smart, focused, I returned to Ohio ready to take on the remaining years of my surgical residency." Gloat much? Although it contains some interesting info on women's heart health, the rest is a combination of self-promotion and bad motivational speaker-ese.
Natalia Nayyar
Feb 17, 2014 Natalia Nayyar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book full of sarcastic, dark , twisted humor. Not to forget to mention there are loads of interesting and fascinating facts and information! I would add that this book could be a guide for girls who want to be surgeons and how to survive in a shark like men dominated field of cardio ! Since now, Dr Kathy Magliato is a kind of superwoman for me and My dream is to become as good and strong surgeon like her . Wish me good luck people! :)
Sep 07, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable medical memoir

I loved reading the stories from the woman surgeons point of view. Her struggles being a women in a typical men's profession and trying to be a both a career woman and a good mother are totally relatable.
Alveera EVHS Khan
Jan 06, 2015 Alveera EVHS Khan rated it really liked it
This book was a very inspiring and interesting book. It summed up the experiences that the renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Kathy Magliato, has to go through, both physical and emotional. I really enjoyed reading it because I am very interested in medicine, and it taught me that there is an extremely difficult journey to becoming a doctor, one filled with gender stereotypes and long, hard hours interning. Yet despite this difficult journey, the reward of giving people a second chance at life is defin ...more
Jul 08, 2011 Su rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book about what it takes to become a female cardio thoracic surgeon along with some neat stats about heart disease in females today. The figures on how many women are afflicted with heart disease were depressing however informative. I like the way she presents the information and even makes the medical stuff easy to understand for people who are not from a medical background.

However I really dislike the way she turns herself into a constant super hero. The truth is that he
Georgia Herod
Sep 10, 2013 Georgia Herod rated it it was amazing
Magliato goes back to her earliest desire to become a surgeon and then tells the great obstacles and difficulties that she encountered in that pursuit. That she completes every demand, even when her physical energy and stamina are pushed to the limit—and when emotionally she is spent, reveals her internal fortitude and her persistent perseverance. Simultaneously she also focuses on women’s health issues—and stresses the significance of women “knowing their numbers” and paying attention to their ...more
Margie Dorman
Mar 29, 2016 Margie Dorman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hearts Are What I Do

Dr. Magliato's autobiography and compilation of heart cases was very interesting. I appreciated how she manages family and career. Her love of family and her passion for her career were palpable. The information she provided on the numbers women should know about their own heart health was invaluable. This was a very good read for me.
Dec 10, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, medical
Her story and struggle was interesting... however, this book just re-enforced the fact that a lot of what she does I do not want done to me. None of that CPR and open heart massage... I might agree to some of the other stuff she does depending on my age but I am not very excited about a lot of the procedures she does.
Jul 15, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
Part I
I think that this woman thinks she is a better writer than she actually is. I've never seen so many cliches (literally) gathered in the pages of one book before! The topic is interesting - she is one of the few female heart transplant surgeons in the world. That's why I'm sticking it out. However, I can't believe user reviews on Amazon give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. For someone who is a surgeon, she wrote this book with a very heavy hand.

Part II
I finished the book and ended up liking it but
Stephanie Henricks
Interesting read! As someone who suffers from a family heart arrhythmia, I had to read this. I loved to hear her perspective on her career and the challenges she'd overcome. There were a couple parts where she described medical procedures that I had to skip over because they made me queasy. :)
Apr 02, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked what she had to say. Never self pitying, but clear about the position of women in her field. They encounter so much prejudice. One male surgeon says he just can't refer patients to her because he can't get past the fact that she's a woman heart surgeon.
Mary P.
Aug 16, 2016 Mary P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Magliato's memoir. She discussed her climb to become one of the few female heart surgeons. She wrote so that those of us not in the medical field would understand the obstacles faced by female doctors and nurses, the various types of heart surgeries, and what it takes for her to balance her family and her career.

Not only would I like Dr. Magliato to be my surgeon if I ever needed one, but I would also like her to be my friend. I could listen to her stories for hundreds
Cecilia Stanton adams
Short read of a fabulous heart surgeon who tells her personal story of balancing a demanding career, marriage, family and the pursuit of excellence. A must read for any woman who dreams of having it all. Dr. Magliato is a great example that you can!
Very good....I know more about the heart than I ever
thought I would.

I really like her tough sensibility and strong determination.

Good for a young woman who has ambition and desire to be in a male dominated field
like heart surgery.

Anna Marie
May 15, 2016 Anna Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is as titled: a memoir. I didn't mind Kathy expounding on some of her personal beliefs as she told the story of being a female in a male dominated career. Kathy originally wanted to write about heart disease specific to women, and she included statistics of this in the back of the book. Women have different health issues than men and more research needs to be done.
Linda Smith
May 04, 2016 Linda Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good.

Not the type of book I would normally choose but it had some important insights that seemed especially appropriate to me at this time. Lots of medical detail but easy to read. Very well written.
Steven Yenzer
I really enjoyed Magliato's description of coming up through a male-dominated field. She's a fun personality and a solid writer. The end of the book was a little too focused on balancing raising kids with a career for my taste, but it may appeal to others.
Nov 22, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: health-medicine
This book needed a much better editing job. It's disjointed, and the author comes across as a smug, self-congratulatory operating-room cowboy. Oh wait, she's a heart surgeon...comes with the territory. But still.
This was a wonderful , light hearted memoir. Even though it was a small memoir it was filled with a lot of information . From her personal story to the importance of taking care of our heart. I definitely enjoyed this memoir and recommend reading it .
Nov 02, 2015 Moosomething rated it it was ok
This is the most arrogant writer I've ever experienced. Way too into herself to actually appreciate the amazing work she does. It's a shame because this could have been written so well...
Apr 16, 2015 Noralyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is wonderful. Informative, Interesting and well written. I'm a nurse and followed the medical information. I'd advise women to read it.
Men will also find it a good read.
Mary Adams
May 25, 2014 Mary Adams rated it it was ok
A string of Readers Digest "Drama in the ER/OR" stories interspersed with a lecture about heart disease in women, a rant against insurance companies, and several super-mom anecdotes.
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