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Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing (Paperback)
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"Wonderful... Physicans would do well to learn this most important lesson about caring for patients." —The New York Times Book Review
Over the years that Victoria Sweet has been a physician, “healthcare” has replaced medicine, “providers” look at their laptops more than at their patients, and costs keep soaring, all in the ruthless pursuit of efficiency. Yet the remedy that economists and policy makers continue to miss is also miraculously simple. Good medicine takes more than amazing technology; it takes time—time to respond to bodies as well as data, time to arrive at the right diagnosis and the right treatment.
Sweet knows this because she has learned and lived it over the course of her remarkable career. Here she relates unforgettable stories of the teachers, doctors, nurses, and patients through whom she discovered the practice of Slow Medicine, in which she has been both pioneer and inspiration. Medicine, she helps us to see, is a craft and an art as well as a science. It is relational, personal, even spiritual. To do it well requires a hard-won wisdom that no algorithm can replace—that brings together “fast” and “slow” in a truly effective, efficient, sustainable, and humane way of healing.
About the Author
Victoria Sweet was a physician at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital for more than twenty years, an experience she chronicled in God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine. An associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, she is also a prizewinning historian with a Ph.D. in history and social medicine, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
"Wonderful...often lyrical...subtle and insightful...Physicians would do well to learn this most important lesson about caring for patients from Sweet's book: 'Establishing the correct diagnoses and then getting them off all those unnecessary medications, with their side effects and adverse reactions, took a lot of time, but in the long run it saved way more money than it cost. It was slower but it was better.'" —The New York Times Book Review
“Anybody considering medical school, or already toiling there, has to read this book. Everyone else should too… [Sweet’s] memoir of growing slowly into her calling is about learning not just to save lives but to make a life…Her personal odyssey is more stirring than any polemical manifesto could be.” —The Atlantic
“Through the moving stories of patients and her experiences in medical school, [Sweet] explores how she found a compassionate way to care. A thoughtful companion to one of today’s hot-button issues.” —Good Housekeeping
“An impassioned plea for a more humane system of healing — and a great read for everyone involved in medicine as patient or practitioner.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Dr. Sweet writes as if she was sitting at our kitchen table, quietly and compassionately teaching about our bodies and our lives.” –New York Journal of Books
“[Sweet] offers an alternative to the tyranny of efficiency at the expense of healing.” –Good Times (Santa Cruz)
“Beautiful…[Sweet’s] prose is clear and direct, with a warmth and intelligence that engages the reader from the book’s first pages, a harrowing description of her father’s near-fatal hospital admission… A sober and lucid examination of what we lose when medicine is shaped by economics and not vocation, when it is informed by litigation and not reverence. One can only hope, and pray, that Sweet is not a prophet crying in the wilderness.” –St. Cloud Visitor
"[A] master storyteller…highly readable… the sick will take comfort in this physician's warm, personal, knowledgeable approach.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Profoundly intimate...Sweet provides a strong and necessary tonic as health care, in all its complexities, remains at the center of the national conversation.” —Booklist
“Sound advice that all involved in health care should heed. [Slow Medicine] will appeal to both professional and lay readers.” —Library Journal
Praise for God's Hotel:
“Transcendent . . . readable chapters go down like restorative sips of cool water, and its hard-core subversion cheers like a shot of gin . . . God’s Hotel [is] a tour de force.” —The New York Times
“A most important book that raises fundamental questions about the nature of medicine in our time. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the ‘business’ of healthcare—and especially those interested in the humanity of healthcare.” —Oliver Sacks, M.D., author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and The Mind’s Eye
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