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Attending Children: A Doctor's Education - Softcover

 
9781589011076: Attending Children: A Doctor's Education
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Mohrmann spent 30 years as a pediatrician treating sick and dying children, and this collection of stories about her most memorable cases is yet another important contribution to the narrative bioethics genre. These are stories that are both painful and hopeful, tragic and funny, full of remarkable characters and sometimes bizarre families. In some ways the book closely resembles Zaner's Conversations on the Edge, in that it allows the reader to peek behind the hospital room curtain to see how patients and their families deal with agonizing choices about life and death. And in both books the reader can see the author evolve and grow over the course of a career. But in the case of Mohrmann's work the author is not simply listening to and advising patients and loved ones, but actually treating them--and, in some cases, making the hard call to recognize the end and withdraw life support Further, Mohrmann's ultimate intention is to tell, through these cases, how doctors learn to be doctors--that is, how physicians learn to attend to patients. Listening, accompanying, and waiting--these are the primary learnings in the education of a doctor. So while this is a book in bioethics, and Mohrmann is an established figure in the SCE crowd, it will also appeal to physicians and other health care workers. Hardback edition reviewed positively in New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, elsewhere.

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Review:

Deserves a special place in the library of each and every medical professional who cares for children of all ages.

--JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Attending Children is an extraordinary book. Mohrmann has a clear gift for language, and she enables the reader to care about the children and families she portrays so eloquently.

--New England Journal of Medicine

Many pages of this book deserve to be dog-eared by anyone who cares for children in the medical field, particularly medical educators who hope that their lessons live beyond the classroom and medical students who want to know what makes a good physician.

--Literature and Medicine

A refreshingly frank first-hand account of [Mohrmann's] journey from nervous medical intern to director of a pediatric intensivecare unit.

--The Lancet
Synopsis:
In a fast-paced, complicated, and evermore dangerous world it is easy to become self-absorbed and consumed with our own problems. There is one place, however, where we put our self-centered concerns aside, and our deep, common humanity is profoundly touched. That place is where sick children dwell. It is no less difficult and perhaps even more difficult in many ways - for physicians who have chosen to attend to the health and well-being of gravely ill or dying children. Margaret Mohrmann has devoted most of her professional life to them, and in "Attending Children" she shares the remarkable education those children and their families have given her. Her narratives are both painful and hopeful, tragic and funny, full of remarkable characters and sometimes bizarre families. Mohrmann has sifted through her thirty years as a pediatrician, and with poignancy, humor, and uncompromising honesty, she shares her sometimes stumbling but always deeply caring journey through a land where, sometimes, small hands have to be let go too soon. She introduces us to not only the physical challenges she, her colleagues, and her patients encounter, but the spiritual ones as well.

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Publisher: Georgetown University Press, 2005
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