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Books, Journals, New Media
December 9, 1998

A Life in MedicineSacred Space: Stories From a Life in Medicine

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1998;280(22):1962-1963. doi:10.1001/jama.280.22.1962-JBK1209-4-1

The author, a master of the American College of Physicians and a medical practitioner in Chattanooga, Tenn, has chosen for the title of his book a meditation on Luke Fildes's well-known pictorial essay, "The Doctor." To Cleaveland, the Sacred Space "speaks of caring, or quiet compassion. Grief, exhaustion, fear, and even confusion are there as well . . . overarching all are love and respect for human life."

The stories in this book are case histories, humanized by the compassion and love that Clif Cleaveland has felt for many of his patients; he writes of the "precious nature of the stories that my patients and teachers have entrusted to me." The book seems intended for other physicians more than for laypeople, replete as it is with clinical details that bring a sense of medical reality to the reader. Such details remind physician-readers, beleaguered as they are by the forays of managed care that Cleaveland so decries, of what the patient-physician relationship should be like, and once was.

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