The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside
A captivating collection of 21 tales
Sherwin B Nuland has published many bestsellers and is the National Book Award winning author of How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter. In his latest book, The Soul of Medicine, Dr Nuland compiles his experiences along with the anecdotes of other professionals—ranging from a medical student to a paediatric cardiologist—he met during his 30 years of practice.
Most of the accounts in this book took place in the 1940s and 1950s when modern medicine was just beginning, innovative surgical techniques were being fashioned, some of today’s pioneering US medical schools were in their early stages; and most importantly, a time when ethics seemed to be more of a distant cousin to medicine than a true sibling.
The first account is the author’s; a 19 year old presenting with an empyema that was “a light brown color and smelled like shit.” This baffled doctors all the way to the