A FAMILY OF DOCTORS
David Hellerstein's 1994 book A Family of Doctors is a history of
American medicine as seen through five generations of doctors in one American
family--his own. His family's devotion to the practice of medicine goes
back to the years of the Civil War, and continues to the present. An
account of the author's personal journey to come to terms with his family's
past, A Family of Doctors makes clear ow American medicine has developed
over more than a century from a chaotic, ineffectual craft into a scientific
enterprise that routinely performs miracles.
"Rewarding reading...an artful blend of medical history and family memoir."
"His remarkable family memoir is at once the remembrance of American medicine
past and a hopeful sign of its future..." (Gerald Weissmann, MD)
"A marvel of family, medical, and personal history interwoven into a seamless
saga I couldn't tear myself away from." (Sherwin Nuland, MD, author of How
BATTLES OF LIFE AND DEATH
Published in 1986, Battles of Life and Death is a collection of thirteen
essays about becoming a doctor. From the unquenched searing pain of
the burn unit, to the brave children undergoing kidney transplants, to the
death of an elderly woman at a hospital overlooking Manhattan's East River,
to the chaos of the psychiatric emergency room. Dramatic, searing and true
tales that hold a stethescope to the heart and soul of a young doctor.
Essays first published in Esquire, Ms., and North
"A forceful and moving human experience." (Medical Tribune)
"Beautifully written...powerful...prize-winning writings on medical training."
(Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"Fast-paced, readable... [an] admirable attempt to demystify the medical
profession." (Boston Herald)
Richard Selzer, MD, author of Rituals of Surgery and other books,
wrote: "Battles of Life and Death is a wonderful book. The
excitement, anguish, and joy of attending the sick are fully transmitted.
The pace is fast, the style dramatic. David Hellerstein is a
highly talented writer."
Newsday called Battles of Life and Death "emotionally riveting....The
writing is taut, accurate and unsentimental. And entertaining as well."
The New York Times stated, "Dr. Hellerstein ends by writing
with genuine insight and compassion."
And Tobias Wolff, in the original Houghton Mifflin edition, wrote: "Battles
of Life and Death is a unique, beautifully written account of the making
of a doctor. In place of the conventional studio portrait of a heroic,
miracle-working wizard, David Hellerstein gives us candid pictures of a humnan
being forced to confront, hour after hour, his own weakness and mortality
in the weakness and mortality of others. He records, with an honesty
that must humble the reader, his occasional evasions and failures of nerve
in the face of those confrontations and the partial nature of the victories
he wins. Battles of Life and Death is a remarkable
document--dramatic, moving, and true."