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March 15, 1995


Author Affiliations

Benton, Ill


by Ferrol Sams, 301 pp, $19.95, ISBN 1-56352-164-4, Marietta, Ga, Longstreet Press, 1994.

JAMA. 1995;273(11):892. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520350074035

Epiphany, a collection of three lengthy stories, is the seventh book by physicianwriter Ferrol Sams. These tales are chock-full of the wit and wisdom accumulated by their author in over 40 years of medical practice. For example, Sams acknowledges that "medicine is like government: The least you can get by on, the better off you are" and that the problem with some physicians is "they got so much education they've forgot they had good sense." At times, his advice to doctors is profound: "All healing, like a great many important things, ultimately comes in silence."

"Epiphany" is the book's opening and best story. It chronicles the unusual relationship between a new patient and the elderly clinic physician who inherits him. Dr Mark Goddard and Gregry McHune embark on a physician-patient relationship that finds Goddard functioning as internist, psychiatrist, and, most important, friend. Together they explore issues including mercy, justice, and

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