bookczuk's Reviews > Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis

Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders
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Jan 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: met-or-know-the-author, nonfiction, home-library, i-heard-about-it-on-npr, made-me-look-something-up, taught-me-something
Read in January, 2010 — I own a copy

A while back, I heard that a Dr Lisa Sanders was the medical consultant for one of my favorite TV shows, House. The name rang a bell because it was the same as one of my best friends from high school -- only the last I'd heard, she was a producer at CBS. Through the miracle of FaceBook, after several decades we reconnected. My Lisa had indeed had a career change and now was a physician. Twists and turns of fate had led her to write a medical column for the New York Times, which in turn led to the offer to be the consultant for a new show about a narcissistic, curmudgeonly, drug addicted, brilliant physician. As she tells the story, she figured she'd say yes, because the show surely wouldn't be around too long. I think this year is season 6. The show is a huge hit, due in large part to the talents of Hugh Laurie (one of my all-time favorite actors), who plays the unconventional Gregory House. Lisa came to town on her book tour and we spent a lovely day together. When she left, I had two great things: a reconnection with an old friend and a signed copy of Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis.

The Medical Mystery bits were definitely my favorites. I am a nurse, and have seen far too much in my 29 years of practice to be surprised by anything that happens in health care. Lisa's investigation of diagnoses, where we came from, where we are and where we are heading was interesting, but I guess I'm a gossip at heart and wanted to get to the "juicy" bits: the case studies and how the mysteries were solved. All in all, the book was quite readable and informative (though I kept hearing her voice in my head as I read.) I wonder how it would be for someone non-medical, or for someone who is rather jaded on our current health care system. Lisa definitely conveys the angst of being suddenly and dramatically ill for the patient, and the problems faced and battled by physicians seeking to help them.

I do love that Lisa has met Hugh Laurie and pronounced him a terrific person. She gave him a copy of the book to read, and then gushed, "And he actually read it!" I love his blurb on the front cover:
“If you need to be reminded that there are still diseases that can’t be cured in an hour—including commercial breaks—then this book is for you. Fantastic stuff.”
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Maggie (new)

Maggie How very cool that you can connect again through the book.


message 2: by Dana (new)

Dana Very interesting. I, too, watch House and am intrigued by the cases solved


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