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The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine
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The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  151 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The real crisis in medicine today is not about economics, insurance, or managed care--it's about the loss of the fundamental human relationship between doctor and patient. In this wise and passionate book, one of our most eminent physicians reacquaints us with a classic notion often overlooked in modern medicine: health care with a human face, in which the time-honored art ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published February 2nd 1999 by Ballantine Books (first published October 1st 1996)
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Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
It was an inspiring read. A reminder to all medical students that knowledge and academic grades are merely one part of their learning experience. Understanding human qualities such as empathy, compassion and the human condition must be reinforced and developed in conjunction with the scientific knowledge of their studies and training.
Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books on what medicine can and should be. I have bought copies and given to many who I hope to inspire with Lown's compassion and insight. a fine book for anyone wanting an uplifting reading experience and a refurbishing of faith in the profession.
May 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
I began this book with a great deal of interest. The beginning of the preface proved compelling, arguing that a large part of the modern healthcare crisis is caused by doctors relying too much on expensive diagnostic tests and not enough on a thorough history and physical examination. From there, however, the book went downhill fast. Lown goes on to laud his many wonderful achievements in the course of his career, sounding quite proud of himself. His tone throughout the book is self-congratulato ...more
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Offers insight of a world-renowned cardiologist towards the doctor-patient relationship. In real life, I wouldn't imagine this man to be as humble/raw-in-thought as he presents in this book. Enjoyed it, (thanks Linda! thanks Dr Keith! for the rec)
Don  Kent
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand how and why the physician-patient relationship has deteriorated and lacks compassion or why hospitals are operated the way they are now or how to try to manage end-of-life decisions you should read this book. While the middle of the book is a bit heavy on the history and developement of modern Cardiology the over-all content is well presented and very valuable. All physicians and every patient should understand and embrace the principles presented by this exceptional au ...more
Beverly Kent
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
l have had doctors who would have benefited from reading this book and I have had doctors who could have written the book. The author is a noted cardiologist with long experience and many good observations and patient stories. Several chapters were beyond my understanding; his many examples were interesting and clearly showed his method of compassion. It is worth a look by anyone who trying to navigate the health system for himself (herself) or for a loved one.
Johnathan Yao
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Lown comments on how doctors do more than just treat disease, but heal a human being. That art, which has extended back millennia, is now being lost in the advent of technology and 'efficiency'. Through his many years of experience, he has developed many tricks and tools to build rapport and genuine connection with his patients. He has also observed profound insights into human nature and the human condition that only the most astute philosophers and literary giants have reached. I needed to ...more
Pamela Fernandes
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every doctor must read this book. It talks about the subtle art of practicing medicine. Dr Lown is a renowned cardiologist and his mentor Dr Samuel Levine appears in many of his experiences throughout the book. Dr Lown tries to simplify the book for non medical people reading it. But the book describes the finer details of medical practice, the reason for doctor's insecurities, their battles with malpractice and the plight of patients. As a catholic doctor, this is fantastic, because healing tru ...more
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting and readable book by a preeminent physician. The author emphasized that good doctors come to many of their diagnoses by physical examination and by knowing their patients through good conversation. He further notes that both of these methods are falling by the wayside in then-present-day American (the book is copyrighted as of 1996). My time was well-spent in reading this book -- it gave me a good deal of insight about what being a physician is like. To add icing to the cake, as I ...more
Ryan Manns
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medical, non-fiction
I read this book in 2 days. Couldn't put it down actually. I epecially enjoyed the first 200 pages and felt like I gained some great insights into whats really important in medicine. The recurring theme of the book is basically that despite all the advancements in science and medicine the strongest means of diagnosing and helping a patient is getting to know them, taking a good history and physical, and being supportive of their problems. My only real criticism is the Dr. Lown didn't really writ ...more
Jay Nair
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A must read for all healthcare stakeholders. Very well written with lots of examples of the challenges faced both by the doctor as well as the patient.

Very relevant to the present context of patient becoming much more empowered and wanting to be more in the know of his or her treatment, both medically and as an individual.
Valentina Chiriac
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
O adevarată valoare care merită citită de toți cei din domeniul medical și nu numai. Mă bucură mereu să citesc carți non-medicale scrise de medici. Îmi place viziunea doctorului Lown asupra profesiei de medic, care trebuie sa fie mai întai de toate uman!
Merita 4,5*!
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine
Sometimes cynical, sometimes self-aggrandizing and often self-contradictory the read is very uneven, but overall an enlightening and occasionally even instructional presentation of the best tools that we can bring to the bedside to approach our patients.
Feb 26, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: anyone
Wise words from a true healer
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