9 great books for doctors or anyone interested in the world of medicine

The relationship between molecules and madness. Prevent new catastrophes like the COVID-19 pandemic. Health disparities among black pregnant women. Gene sequencing to help restore the sight of a boy who hadn’t seen his mother in years. This year’s crop of recent medical books covers all of this and more.

“The Invisible Body: A Doctor's Journey Through the Hidden Wonders of Human Anatomy” by Jonathan Riesman, M.D.

The Invisible Body: A Doctor’s Journey Exploring the Hidden Wonders of Human AnatomyJonathan Riesman, M.D.

Trained physician and naturalist by nature, Jonathan Riesman, MD, takes readers on a tour of the human body as it travels from eyes to lungs and mucus to fat. . But Mr. Riesman, who works in the field of emergency medicine, takes readers on an equally enlightening world journey. For example, his journey through the waterways of the Himalayas provides a metaphor for blood-carrying arteries, and ice trekking in Russia reveals the vital role of thermoregulation in health.nevertheless Some of the quirkier sections may not appeal to disliked readers – there’s a chapter on fecal matter and an explanation of eyeball ingestion – the book is a loving introduction to the sophisticated ecosystem of the human body. provide perspective.

“Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth,” by Dana Ain Davis, Ph.D.

Reproductive Inequities: Racism, Pregnancy, Premature BirthDr. Dana Ain Davis

In the U.S., black women are twice as likely to give birth prematurely as white women and have little protection from economic success. Anthropologist Dr. Dana Ain Davis spent seven years investigating the race-related factors driving the early arrival of black babies and their subsequent need for neonatal intensive care. She traces it all the way back to racist tropes such as slavery and black women’s sturdiness, and also describes the modern phenomenon of stress “weathering” black bodies. Ms. Davis’ in-depth interviews with mothers of different ages, incomes, geographies and levels of education revealed that she repeatedly felt neglected by medical personnel. Davis looks at possible solutions and focuses on prevention, including empowering those who want to access doulas and community-based birth support. Without such efforts, black Americans will suffer lifelong health consequences of premature birth, she warns.

“Living Medicine: Don Thomas, Bone Marrow Transplantation, and the Cell Therapy Revolution” Frederick Applebaum, MD

Living Medicine: Don Thomas, Bone Marrow Transplantation, and the Cell Therapy RevolutionFred Appelbaum, M.D.

Bone marrow transplantation has saved more than a million lives in the 40 years since its discovery, but when Dr. E. Donal Thomas first pursued the method, he was scorned by many of his colleagues. This risky approach involved first exposing cancerous blood cells to high doses of radiation and chemotherapy, then injecting donated bone marrow that would produce healthy replacement cells. Eventually, Thomas changed the course of leukemia, previously considered a death sentence, as well as other blood-based diseases such as sickle cell anemia. Alongside him for much of this work was his longtime mentor, Dr. Fred Appelbaum.of living medicineAppelbaum guides readers through the challenging path to this breakthrough and Thomas’ own journey from a one-room schoolhouse in Texas to the Nobel Prize stage.

“Lessons from the COVID-19 War: Investigative Report” by the COVID-19 Crisis Group

Lessons from the COVID-19 War: Investigative ReportCOVID-19 Crisis Group

More than a million Americans have died from COVID-19 so far, and the threat of another deadly pandemic is looming, medical and policy experts warn. A team of 34 such experts, led by the former director of the 9/11 Commission, spent more than a year trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t in the fight against COVID-19. investigated. They describe how a patchwork of local health departments set up in the 1800s to combat cholera was ill-equipped to deal with 21 infected people.cent– Pandemic of the century. They also describe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as often prioritizing certainty over action too often and failing to communicate information quickly enough. Looking ahead, the authors call for improved health data systems, the appointment of an undersecretary for health security, and greater reliance on community leaders in disseminating critical health information. Above all, they argue, even the greatest scientific breakthroughs must be translated into effective public health measures to save lives.

Care: The Story of Nursing and Its Power to Change the WorldSarah DiGregorio

Nurses have treated enslaved people, been tried as witches, gone to prison for providing birth control, and saved lives during wars and pandemics. Journalist Sara DiGregorio delves into this rich history while also exploring the current range of her profession, from patient education to policy activism, neonatal care to hospice support. She also describes the sometimes sexist and racist notions surrounding that career of hers. For example, Florence Nightingale was hailed as the founder of modern nursing, while her Jamaican-born contemporary, Mary Secole, was disparagingly called the “black nightingale.” But the most compelling moment in the book may be DiGregorio’s own experiences with nurses. The people who supported her when her mother died of breast cancer, the people who distracted her from anxiously waiting for her biopsy results, and the preparations for her emergency C-section. The people who hugged her while she was doing it. Finally, while praising this often overlooked profession, she asks, “Can I be human without nursing?”

“Cell Song: Medicine and the New Human Quest” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.

Cell Song: Medicine and the New Human ExplorationDr. Siddhartha Mukherjee

cell song It honors the major role of the smallest functional unit of the body. In it, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., named the tiny squares Robert Hooke saw in cork after the Latin word for “cell,” meaning “little room.” It goes back 400 years. Mukherjee, an oncologist and assistant professor at Columbia University, continues to explore the important role of cells in many fields, including cancer, immunology, reproduction, and COVID-19. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of the awe of cell-based medicine and the patients who have benefited from it. Mukherjee is also looking at “new humans” who might one day benefit from synthetic versions of cells. And he hopes there will come a time when science will have a better understanding of how cells are interconnected, singing to each other, and how that music can help our world. I hope

America’s Collapse: An Ailing Country, My Body’s Rebellion, and the 19th Century Woman Who Brought Me Back to LifeJennifer Landen

Social worker and author Jennifer Landen was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) when she was 21 when she was so unexplainably exhausted that she couldn’t even take a shower. With so few resources and so little hope for her, she became very depressed. But she finally found solace in an unusual place. 19th century diarist Alice James. She suffered from similar symptoms and was initially labeled as female hysteria. Lunden soon began delving into the science behind her CFS, examining the work of immunologists, toxicologists and infectious disease doctors. From there, she began thinking about the broader health landscape in the United States, including the alarming effects of stress, dangerous exposure to chemicals, and inadequate access to healthcare. Although she now feels better thanks to various treatments, Lunden recognizes that she may never be completely well. “I am a work in progress,” she wrote. “So are you. So are we all. And I will keep trying.”

Molecules Away from Madness: The Tale of a Hijacked BrainSarah Manning Peskin, MD, M.S.

Sarah Manning Peskin, MD, M.D., explains that molecules can be the small culprits behind some of the scariest mental health problems. Abnormal proteins can cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an often fatal neurological disorder, bacteria can cause neurosyphilis, and environmental toxins can cause mood-altering symptoms like mercury poisoning. There is a nature. Peskin, an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, delves into the science behind such ailments and the sometimes bizarre stories of patients who suffer from them. For example, a college girl suddenly believes she’s fighting zombies, and a South Carolina farmer mysteriously suffers from a local dementia epidemic. There are bright spots in these sad stories. It is dedicated scientists and physicians who strive to understand and treat these painful conditions. Although Peskin is often criticized for their creative and sometimes eccentric behavior, she describes them as “permanently devoted to their art”.

A Genomic Adventure: The Mystery of Medicine and the Amazing Quest to Solve ItEwan Ashley, M.D., Ph.D.

Where it once cost billions of dollars and months to decipher a patient’s genome—the personalized alphabet of life—a new method could rapidly identify patients suffering from mysterious gene-based conditions. provided an opportunity to treatof Genomic JourneyEwan Ashley, M.D., explains the scientific steps behind those advances and the patients who have benefited from them. One was a young man who asked, “Mom, is that you?” after gene therapy restored his sight. Ashley, a leader in the field and professor of medicine and genetics at Stanford University, expects more progress to come, thanks in part to studies of people with super-strong genomes that offer extraordinary health protection. ing. Ashley, meanwhile, says she is motivated by the many patients who still need help. They are “the reason I wake up every morning,” he writes.

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