Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

Reading at the Beach is hosting A-Z Wednesday where bloggers take the time to highlight one book that starts with the letter of the day. This week is the letter D. I highlighted fiction last week so I thought it only fair to highlight a non-fiction book this week.

Delivering Doctor Amelia by Dan Shapiro is subtitled The Story of a Gifted Young Obstetrician's Error and the Psychologist Who Helped Her. Amazon describes it thusly:

An assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Arizona who has written about his life-threatening bout with cancer (Mom's Marijuana), Shapiro specializes in treating physicians. He recounts his experience with a patient and colleague who became convinced that she was incompetent. Dr. Amelia Sorvino (the name and other details have been changed), a young obstetrician in her 30s and very popular with both patients and faculty members, suddenly stopped working and announced that she was no longer a doctor. After several visits, she told Shapiro about the incident that had driven her out of medicine. Because her patient desperately wanted a vaginal delivery, Amelia took too long to finally perform a C-section, a decision that may or may not have caused cerebral palsy in the newborn. She is now being sued for malpractice. In honest and perceptive writing, the author details the ups and downs of this therapeutic relationship and includes descriptions of events in Amelia's own words. Sympathetic to the psychological problems that were undermining his patient's career and marriage, Shapiro was, however, sometimes plagued by hostile feelings toward her. In this very sensitive and engrossing medical memoir, Shapiro explains how, after Amelia attempted suicide, he had her hospitalized for a brief period, and he then was able to help her back to emotional health.

I was never, ever, ever likely to be a doctor (woozy at the sight of blood) but I find myself fascinated by accounts by and about doctors and nurses. This one shows an oft neglected side of the medical profession: the what happens when something goes tragically wrong. It sits patiently on my tbr pile but perhaps highlighting it will send me to crack it open sooner rather than later.


  1. I too am always attracted to medical dramas and mysteries. Thanks for the recommendation :-)

  2. I love medical dramas, and am hooked on medical tv shows such as Mystery Diagnosis.


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