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Publisher's Summary

An epic story told by a unique voice in Ameri­can medicine, One Doctor describes life-changing experiences in the career of a distinguished physi­cian. In riveting first-person prose, Dr. Brendan Reilly takes us to the front lines of medicine today.
Whipsawed by daily crises and frustra­tions, Reilly must deal with several daunting challenges simultaneously: the extraordinary patients under his care on the teeming wards of a renowned teaching hospital; the life-threatening illnesses of both of his ninety-year-old parents; and the tragic memory of a cold case from long ago that haunts him still.
As Reilly's patients and their families survive close calls, struggle with heartrending decisions, and confront the limits of medicine's power to cure, One Doctor lays bare a fragmented, depersonal­ized, business-driven health-care system where real caring is hard to find.
Every day, Reilly sees patients who fall through the cracks and suffer harm because they lack one doctor who knows them well and relentlessly advocates for their best interests.
Filled with fascinating characters in New York City and rural New England-people with dark secrets, mysterious illnesses, impos­sible dreams, and many kinds of courage - One Doctor tells their stories with sensitivity and empathy, reminding us of professional values once held dear by all physicians.
But medicine has changed enormously during Reilly's career, for both better and worse, and One Doctor is a cautionary tale about those changes. It is also a hopeful, inspiring account of medicine's poten­tial to improve people's lives, Reilly's quest to understand the "truth" about doctoring, and a moving testament to the difference one doctor can make.
©2013 Brendan Reilly, M.D. (P)2014 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jan on 06-20-14

Simply Brilliant

Dr. Reilly has distilled a life time of his knowledge, experience and insight into this enlightening and engaging book about health care. Although full of interesting experiences from his practice, this is not similar to a James Herriot book... you have to think and process... he has many messages that need saying in todays world. I will also mention here that his account weaves like a macramé and if you don't listen closely you will miss threads that you really need to remember - I re-wound multiple times to get back into gear.

I've been a nurse about as long as "Brenden" has been a doctor and his writing is truth, not sugar coated... I have been right there facing the same challenges. He has expressed the things I would like to tell my aging parents, siblings and children (most especially the son with the MD behind his name) in a way I never could. There are no pat answers found here, rather he shares stories that raise questions and cause you to think about "your doctor," family, choices, guilt, aging, death, resources, quality of life and the bizarre practice of medicine in the United States.

So very glad to have found this book.

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36 of 38 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 06-26-15

I can't shut up about this book.

Dr. Reily has followed the most famous rule of writing: show, don't tell. He uses examples from his long career to illustrate the way that medicine has changed, how it is broken and what might or might not be done to fix it. I'll be buying several copies to give at the holidays. I really consider this a must read.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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