White Coat Tales: Medicine's Heroes, Heritage, And Misadventures.

White Coat Tales: Medicine's Heroes, Heritage, And Misadventures

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ISBN details

  • ISBN 10: 0387730796
  • ISBN 13: 9780387730790


The book, divided into three parts, covers topics such as how physicians became physicians, how the use of terms that are used everyday in medicine came about and how there have been both good and bad experiences in medicine. The material that is presented in this book is written in a way that is not only easily comprehended but can be used in the day to day life of a physician.

Doody Review Services

Reviewer:Philip W. Leon, PhD(The Citadel)
Description:Following a long career in academic medicine, Robert Taylor has assembled a miscellany of medical anecdotes, word origins, aphorisms, and medical quotations culled from his lectures and wide reading. He acknowledges that his book is a potpourri of items that touch on various aspects of medicine.
Purpose:Taylor says his purpose is to present "medicine's scientific triumphs, clinical curiosities, insightful aphorisms, inventive mnemonics, imaginative myths, and occasional blunders." Readers with a background in medical history will find that he accomplishes his purpose in clear, often humorous prose. Obviously one who enjoys irony and serendipity, he provides engaging stories from ancient to modern times.
Audience:The primary audience is other physicians who will doubtless remember some of the anecdotes from their medical school days. Medical students or physicians just beginning their careers will also profit from reading the brief discussions of heroes in medical history, diseases that changed the world, and some of the miracle drugs that combat illnesses.
Features:Taylor makes no secret of his love for word origins and, in this case, words that figure prominently in medicine. He includes lists of terms drawn from Latin and Greek, mythology, place names, metaphors, and descriptive phrases. In another chapter he presents some well known medical aphorisms and discusses the physicians who first said them. As one would expect, he devotes a chapter to medical eponyms and in doing so, pays tribute to physicians whose names became associated with a cure or procedure. The lay reader will not find the chapter on medical abbreviations, acronyms, jargon, and slang as engaging as other features of the book.
Assessment:This is the sort of book that many physicians wish they could write showing the many facets of medicine and its relationship to history, personalities, literature, and social forces. In a particularly valuable and informative chapter, Taylor shares with his readers the names of famous and infamous persons from history and popular culture who suffered from bipolar disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer Disease, migraine headaches, diabetes, and breast cancer. This is an enjoyable read and a welcome addition to the field of medical humanism.

Other Details

  • Publisher: Springer
  • Edition: 2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Date Published: 2007
  • Authors: Robert B Taylor